Great Leaders Create Great Leaders

We’ve all faced the temptation as leaders to simply direct people by letting them know what we need done. Sometimes it feels like if people would just do what we want them to do the way we want them to do it, everything would be so simple.

Great leaders resist that temptation because they know the most effective kind of leadership involves empowering their followers and team members to make decisions and take ownership of tasks. Remember: great leaders create more great leaders.

Motivating people to take ownership is easier than you think. One of the key components is simply understanding what motivates your team members. What are their values? What do they need from their job in order to feel successful? What type of management style best supports that success?


Identifying Key Motivators

You can figure out what motivates your team in lots of ways. When one of your team members brings a new idea or complaint, take the time to listen to what they’re saying. Not just the idea or complaint. Ask why this issue resonates with them. What is it about this problem that feels so important?

Take the opportunity to involve the team member in the solution. If the problem is important to your team member, then the solution will be, too. Even if you can’t implement their ideas or solutions, try your best to make them a part of the outcome in a positive way.

Compliments are another great motivator. Draw attention to your team members’ successes. Offer praise for a job well done. This might seem like a small thing, but too often in the workplace, we only hear negative feedback when we’re doing something that needs to be corrected. Positive feedback lets us know we’re doing well and motivates us to continue doing those successful things. It makes us feel valued and appreciated.


Tools for Success

It might be difficult sometimes to see how different team members’ motivations fit together to benefit the whole group. It might be hard to figure out how to motivate certain people to invest in your goals. Or you might simply be looking for a more comprehensive way to identify what motivates your group.

A great tool to help you understand what motivates your team members is a personality test. A test can help identify work motivators, areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, as well as provide a guide toward a more balanced work-life. All these things benefit you as a leader by making your team more effective. I recommend the Career Values Scale, which identifies all of these key areas in about fifteen minutes.

Understanding how to best motivate your team helps you build the most powerful, effective group. It allows you to tap into the natural motivations of each member so he or she brings the best possible outcome to the whole group.


Ingrid Kelada

Business Psychologist/Happiness Expert

KCC Inc.