As promised in my last blog, this post will continue to look at motivation and how it effects your team.  In that writing, I proposed that a business leader needs to merge different motivations to achieve optimal performance and it should begin with understanding the uniqueness of the team.

Wow – seems very heavy.  It really isn’t.  Think of it this way: Understanding what drives your team members to come to work every day – beyond the need for a paycheck, how much do you really know?  It is a very important cornerstone, yet may be an afterthought.

Consider this: You have a team member that has the experience and seniority for a promotion to supervisor.  At first, the other team members are happy for their peer and celebrate the success as a team.  As time goes on, the new supervisor seems to be alienating the team.  Rigid policies and procedures are put into place without rhyme or reason.  The team becomes disenchanted.  Deadlines are missed.  The work standards become sub-par.  What happened?  Where is the disconnect?
The new “rules” are not the reason for the issues.  The core problem lies with the promotion.  The supervisor was promoted solely on experience and seniority.  By digging deeper, the supervisor might not have been promoted and the team might have been spared.  A few simple questions can uncover so much:

  • “Why do you want to lead?”
  • “What do you see as essential to the role of a supervisor?”
  • “How will you interact with your team?”
  • “Who is responsible for the career development of team members?”

The motivation of accepting a promotion cannot be solely based on financial gain.  Successful leaders cannot be selfish or blind to the underlying needs of their team.  Understanding more about the team member, more than their experience and seniority, would show their capabilities and desires for leadership.  More simple questions:

  • “Are you fulfilled in your role on this team?”
  • “Besides money, why do you come to work every day?”
  • “Where do you want your career to go?
  • “As your leader, how can I help you to get there?”

As leaders, we have to be intuitive about our team abilities.  Open your mind to the motivations of others.  Developing new policies and procedures – without input, without cause – leads to alienation.  Developing a rapport, a standard of open dialog, a deep level of trust, that is how a strong team – the cornerstone of your business – is built.  Which will you choose?

Thank you for joining me on this renewed journey.  I welcome comments and questions. For more information on an assessment of your current business functions visit our Services page.

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