By now you’ve noticed that leadership is much more than just telling people what to do and expecting them to do it without any pushback. That’s not leadership. That’s just telling people what to do. While that might work for a few minutes out of every day, a true leader will have a deeper connection with their team that transcends an authoritarian command of the office. I have found that becoming a leader through the examples you set for your team is a much more efficient and long-term way to constantly inspire and motivate your team.
Your behavior as a leader directly influences the behaviors and value system of your team. For example, if you show up to work late all the time, leave early and spend most of the day in the breakroom cracking jokes and stacking K-cups, there is an expectation set that you aren’t taking this business seriously, so your team doesn’t have to either. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take some time to relax, but it does mean that you have to show your team daily that you are just as invested in the shared goals of the organization as you expect them to be. This can be demonstrated in a few different ways.
Positivity. Even when things are on the fritz, remaining positive and looking forward can be a huge motivator for your team. This isn’t direct leadership, this is all about attitude. Showing your team that all the road bumps and challenges that come with growing a business are exactly that — challenges to be overcome — goes a long way in developing a leadership style that focuses on moving forward, rather than wallowing in defeat.
Punctuality. Show up when you are supposed to show up, even if you are the one who mandates working hours. Your working hours can be skewed, that’s up to you. This is about being there for your team and being available when needed. Naturally, this means managing your time-off and available time expectations (we can’t be on all the time), but it also means being where you are expected to be when you say you are. This behavior trickles down to your staff, who realize the importance of being where they say they are going to be when. If you schedule a noon meeting, be there, and bring lunch.
Purpose. Confusion is one of the silent killers of productivity. Working without a purpose is a waste of time and resources and contributes to a workplace environment that is rife with complacency. Walk into the office with purpose. Lead meetings with purpose. Set goals and project expectations with end points. Demonstrate that you are looking forward and working toward growth and shared goals. Your team will be motivated and energized if their work is realized in accomplishments, rather than dead ends.
Passion. Finally, work with passion. Infuse your meetings, your one-on-one conversations, hallway chats and company goals with passion. Passion is what drives a successful brand, passion for the work and deliverables. Carry that passion into the office like a pirate carries a parrot and you’ll see a sea change in how your team reacts. Show your team that you are not only invested in the greater goals of the company, but in their personal goals as well. That’s an example of leadership that your team can get behind and find true motivational passion within.