Seven Effective Ways High-octane Leaders Motivate Their Teams
How do high-octane leaders motivate their teams? What’s the difference between a high-octane leader and a classic one? High-octane leaders are those who motivate their teams in such a way people feel appreciated and enjoy facing challenges along the business journey.
There’s nothing more motivating than working on a team that’s firing on all cylinders. Everything is in sync.
ImportantThe business is moving forward. Tangible success is achieved. People are in a groove and working hard isn’t hard work. It’s seemingly effortless, with no wasted energy.
Engines require the fuel with the proper octane so that they may run most efficiently. So to with leaders.
Leaders are like the engines of an organization, and in the same way that an engine in an automobile must be taken care of so that it may go in the proper direction and do whatever is necessary, so to the leader must be maintained appropriately.
The only traits that all high-octane leaders have in common is that they have followers.
ImportantEvery team will require something different from its leader, but in general a good leader works with their team to reach a goal in the most efficient manner by producing superior results. No high-performing team has a poor leader.
The absence of team energizers is what most often depletes them. Ensure these energizers become priorities and you will have a team that is fueled-up and ready for anything!
Whatever your goals for the rest of the year, your team can’t reach them if it is running on empty. High-octane leaders possess and consistently exhibit seven attributes that bolster team performance. Below are seven ideas that may boost your octane in terms of leadership.
High-octane Leaders Have Your Back
High-octane leaders create this feeling by actively listening to ideas and opinions, allowing your confidence to develop and creating a sense of openness across the whole team. This results in a very collaborative team that gets work done efficiently in a safe environment.
Think of the power that comes from a team saying, ‘we can take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed’.
Although leaders may inspire their followers to accept challenges, they must also instill confidence in their people that the results can be achieved. This confidence drives innovation and innovation ensures that goals are met in the most effective manner.
Courage underpins all other leadership qualities. Leaders must having tough conversations, dealing with ambiguity, and taking accountability and responsibility for getting things done.
ImportantLeaders must drive out fear, expand people’s self-image, recognize and reward accomplishments, and express faith in people by delegating responsibility and authority.
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in our day to day jobs, but if you give your team space to apply blue-sky thinking, you might be surprised by the results. Not every idea will be worth the investment to move forward, but by dedicating time for creation and resources to the ideas with the most legs, you can foster a culture of innovation.
Acknowledging a person’s true character and the impact he or she has on the team is the nitty-gritty of leadership.
ImportantPeople want to feel good about what they are doing and the contributions they make. Team members remember how they were treated and they’ll move heaven and earth to help without question when needed.
Scanning for the positive should be something you do as leader every day, not just on days that are hard. Build up a habit of thankful thinking.
Also, don’t just focus on what you’re grateful for, but try focusing on why you’re grateful for those things. Your attitude of gratitude will be infectious to your team.
High-octane Leaders Are Obsessed
The most inspiring leaders set a clear direction and fully commit to making their teams successful. They have a grip on the issues and understand what people need, without micromanaging.
Poor leaders see purpose as nice-to-have rather than as necessary. They fail to grasp that an authentic purpose is both practical and aspirational.
ImportantPurpose is powerful because it guides day-to-day decision-making and motivates employees to go the extra mile. People often overlook this as they don’t question what their work is really about and don’t have tools to help them.
High-octane leaders don’t dilly dally with decision-making. They understand time is precious, and they don’t want to waste it.
They know when it’s appropriate to focus quickly on key issues. This allows them to move forward even in the face of uncertainty.
Consistency is fundamental to leadership and is another foundation for trust. Consistency of character and behavior sets the expectation for followers. A leader must be clear on what his/her values are, live them out every day, and keep his/her promises.
You must wake up with passion, feel it in your soul and heart!
If you are not ready with passion and have a positive, “GO-GET-IT” mindset, all else you do, learn or want to do, just won’t fall into place for you! Your passion and mindset will ultimately get you to those goals you have.
Greatness requires dedication. Nothing exceptional is ever accomplished without intentionality and commitment.
ImportantAnything worthwhile requires sacrifices and focus. Dedication makes your very life’s work an expression of honor and affection for who and what you deeply value.
High-octane Leaders Embrace Failure
As a leader in your organization, decide what behavior you want to model, and observe how it translates in your team. If you model fear and suspicion, your team also will exhibit that behavior.
If you support your team in taking risks and create a process to assess and honor risks and outcomes, your team will be much more willing to embrace the fear and move through it successfully.
Debrief everything you do and be fearlessly open to giving and receiving feedback. Seeking root causes for failure will help you be more successful the next time because you learn what works and what doesn’t.
High-octane leaders and their teams become more resilient. They learn from mistakes and grow stronger.
ImportantSuccess is achieved when leaders keep going and persevere through adversity. Failure is when they give up trying.
Often, when leaders are not used to failing, failing can be scary. They fear that this failure can blemish their perfect record, reputation, credibility, authority, or position. This can lead to denial at all costs. Failing to admit to a mistake is a sure dead end to learning.
Teams that fear failure and its consequence deliver mediocre results over time.
This happens because they are rewarded for predictable outcomes and not for reaching beyond certainty toward possibility — how do you react when they fall short? To empower your team to achieve beyond expectations, create a regular vocabulary and process for defining committed outcomes and stretch objectives week over week.
As the leader, you’ve got to be willing to allow that the knowledge gained by your team may exceed your personal knowledge.
ImportantRather than assume that as a leader you have to have the answer to every question, start thinking about how you can empower your team to develop and grow so they can find the answers.
High-octane Leaders Create Momentum
It all comes back to being proactive versus reactive. If you approach problems with a momentum mindset, then you won’t see the problems at all. You will simply see their solution as part of the long-term goal that everyone on your team is targeting together.
You need to be aware of complacency. To create momentum you don’t want complacency.
ImportantYou want people striving to be the best they can be. If you don’t have a plan, if there is no direction, it means the team you lead has no purpose. This will be counter productive to creating momentum.
Change creates excitement, and excitement can translate into momentum. When a leader has momentum, initiating change is exponentially easier that trying to force past stagnation.
Some may resist at first, but if you believe in a change that’s coming, then you need to be waving a flag to build enthusiasm around it. This energy can ultimately feed back into itself, as momentum is also one of the greatest of change agents.
It’s easier to sustain momentum than to create it. But with strong leadership, momentum can be achieved. That is why building momentum is such an important leadership skill.
Managers solve problems, while leaders build momentum.
If you want to build this irresistible force on your team or in your organization, put a premium on taking action, and start with yourself. Perhaps the step you take is wrong, or not the best first one, but you start.
When giving recognition, find a time to do so publicly. This will create a company culture of winning and high performance.
ImportantA winning team culture will subconsciously push each person to take their performance to the next level. Consider this, if you have 20 team members, and each person gets just 5% better, then your team just got 100% better.
High-octane Leaders Make Connections
The best leaders align themselves with the team and recognize they must work alongside others to be successful. They knock down any walls or silos, cultivating deep relationships within the organization.
High-octane leaders unselfishly offer help and solutions to fix problems even if those difficulties reside outside their purview.
They realize isolationism restricts what a team or organization can achieve. They prefer an open-source approach that welcomes others and creates great opportunities for success.
The foundation to a strong, sustainable and efficient team is to build real, authentic relationships.
ImportantIt’s about surrounding yourself with the people that care, share, love, like and get you for who you are and what you do. It’s about finding out all you can about that new team member, what they do, who they are and how they are doing.
Think about a leader who makes regular effort to take time away from their office to connect with the team. They might take time out from their day to lunch with you and might invite you to events outside of work.
High-octane leaders take an interest in the individual.
They get to know your background, asked questions and listened attentively but, more importantly, they humanize themselves and let you get to know them too and aren’t afraid to show their vulnerability.
Connection is finding common ground for cooperation.
A curious characteristic of effective leaders is that they know how to get along with people, even with those who should be enemies. In the event of conflict, good leaders will have an intuitive sense of a compromise solution that will provide benefits for both parties.
High-octane Leaders Are Compassionate
Your job as a high-octane leader is to care for others by putting their needs, wants and desires first and not worry about what you think you need or want! It’s not about you getting what you want and disregarding what your team really needs for them to feel better.
You must build that know-like-trust factor with everyone you lead.
ImportantThis is NOT about you! It’s about others and making them feel loved and cared for! You want people to get to know that they can trust you, that they can feel comfortable talking and sharing their struggles with you.
Compassionate leaders get out of the way and focus their attention on the people around them.
They seek to understand the perspectives, motivations and roadblocks of their team members. If you’re not really paying attention or you’re silently judging them, they’re not likely going to open up to you.
Compassionate leaders engage in awareness of their team and work to prevent patterns of negative behavior from becoming the norm. They employ a key rule: they do not allow behavior that negatively impacts the team.
Compassion isn’t something you’re born with—it grows out of considerate behavior. High-octane leadership finds its source in listening and understanding.
The amount of time you spend talking to and listening to an employee is a sign of how important you consider them to be—to you and to the organization. That’s why the best leaders spend a lot of time walking around and chatting with their employees.
Compassionate leaders know that time invested in their team will yield great dividends.
ImportantWhen people feel they have a strong relationship with their leader because their leader is deeply invested in who they are, they’re willing to offer their best work—a win-win situation.
High-octane Leaders Are Inclusive
Conflict within the team is a huge energy drain and distraction. It is next to impossible for teams to focus on achieving results when energy is being wasted on unproductive conflict and poor communication.
High-octane leaders create a supportive culture rooted in trust.
ImportantDiffering views and perspectives are valued and welcomed. They understand the importance of complementary skills and varied approaches to problem-solving.
These leaders go out of their way to create a diverse team. Everyone feels heard and respected.
They eschew egos and drama because they know how divisive those distractions can become. Most importantly, these leaders stay focused on the business and rise above office politics.
One way to improve how your team works together is by simply asking members what they believe needs to happen in order to create more effective and productive teamwork and a healthier climate. Come to agreement on at least three things your team commits to focusing on.
Inclusion is the means by which individuals from all backgrounds are engaged, integrated, motivated, and valued.
ImportantInclusion means that diverse individuals are fully integrated into the process by which individuals have exposure to the work, clients, and relationships that are critical to development and success.
Inclusive leaders seek to integrate many voices into discussions and decisions.
They pay attention to whose perspectives are missing from discussions and make sincere and consistent effort to include those viewpoints. In addition, inclusive leaders realize when they must speak up because they cannot let offensive comments go unaddressed, and they encourage others to do the same.
These are admirable traits we should all try to develop and, in doing so, discover our own latent leadership potential. Unleashing this potential will not only make us high-octane leaders, but can also contribute to helping others to realize their potential.
If leadership treated as a ‘nice to have’ or something to promote ‘when you have time,’ it will never improve.
ImportantTeams live or die on a leader’s ability exemplify these seven attributes. Not only did I strive to put these into practice, I’ve witnessed marked differences among leaders who employ these behaviors and those who don’t.
Many of these traits are common sense.
However, the important thing is to prioritize them every day. To be a high-octane leader you must recognize that this isn’t in addition to your job, this is your job.
Fueling your team does not take a great deal of time.
ImportantIt requires that you show your own enthusiasm and support for your team and that you make each of these energizers a priority. Remember, energy that carries a team the farthest is created by people knowing their contributions are valued and that they are making a meaningful difference to the team’s success.
Fuel your team and your company with these six leadership behaviors and you will make a huge difference from your competitors!
Leadership a process of uncovering and discovering daily. There is always something to learn and we’re always in student mode. Hope you got value from this, drop me a message in the comments section below and let’s connect. To your continued success always.