Golden Visions & Associations
Thought of the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of August 13, 2008

Are You Really Motivating Your Team?

Motivation comes through, among other things, trust.

It’s difficult to encourage someone to do their highest quality, most innovative work for you if they don’t think you trust them to do so. Though you may not see it yourself, actions such as micromanaging speak loudly of your lack of confidence in this individual’s ability to do his job correctly.

In their book Head, Heart & Guts: How the World’s Best Companies Develop Complete Leaders, authors David L. Dotlich , Peter C. Cairo & Stephen H. Rhinesmith discuss the reason some of today’s leaders still stunt the growth of their people through avoiding the simple task of delegating and then truly letting go:

Many leaders grow up in organizations where they believe that if they don’t do something themselves, it won’t get done—or won’t get done the right way (meaning their way.) They feel compelled to control white space between functions and departments rather than manage it. They don’t realize that trust is essential. Leaders who emphasize controls and excessive attention to details can quickly de-motivate people and undermine an organization’s ability to succeed.

Trust is a fascinating concept. Leaders tell me that subordinates must prove themselves in order to earn this leader’s trust. Subordinates tell me how the leader’s lack of trust holds them back from performing at their highest level. Both statements are valid.

A wise leader recently shared his key to strengthening his team--‘trust but verify.’ This approach allows this leader to do what he does best—lead (not control.) It is also safe in that there are points when he verifies the accuracy of the work being performed though not getting in the way of his people’s creativity or unique approach.

Do members of his team stumble and sometimes make mistakes? Of course they do. It's all part and parcel of growing and developing into stronger contributors. Their loyalty increases as they feel more a part of the organization rather than individuals simply taking orders.

This week, simply notice where you may be de-motivating those around you by taking too much control. See how a little well-placed trust may bring about more favorable results. In other words, allow your people to surprise and amaze you.

Enjoy your discoveries and have a grand week!


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