When you look at your team, do you see people for their uniqueness? Or do you see them as a means to an end?
The way you look at your team will determine the way they look at themselves. If you want people to be inspired, you need to look at them for their inspirational impact. This is self-leadership before leading others.
When you look at your team, what do you see?
A group of hard-working, worn-out people? Or do you see potential? Do you see the value in everyone?
To lead people to greatness, you have to see in them what’s become invisible. Pull out of them the skill, talent, and desire they’ve kept hidden. The best leaders will visualize greatness in others and see their potential. This visionary way of seeing your team means seeing them not for what they are but for what you imagine they can be. Instead of seeing problems in others, see opportunities and potential to expand and grow.
Most leaders assess their teams for the activities they perform. Results are always an indication of work and progress from the past. A visionary leader will see results today and focus on the success of tomorrow. Instead of plainly looking at what is right in front of them, they look at what could be. This is an inspirational force that can propel everyone forward.
Without this vision, leaders don’t see teams for the underlying value they provide or their emotional investment. They don’t see the richness of their experience, the consistent work ethic, the pride in the details, the way they shape your customer’s experience or their uniqueness.
When you give someone a job, you give them a purpose. What many leaders fail to recognize is the people come for the purpose. We’re not here for the collection of tasks you want us to complete. We’re not here just for a paycheck; we're entitled to that.
We’re here to see if you can lead us towards purpose. There must be a reason we work every day; it must amount to something. Connect our collective action to people’s talent and drive and show us our purpose.
If you rely on me, you count on my voice, opinion, passion and skill, and the whole thing is worthwhile.
Every journey begins with a destination. If you don’t know where you're headed, you’ll never get there. What is our destination? Sometimes it’s unclear because of the economy and outside forces, so you have to rely on hope.
Teams become visible when they see purpose, progress and a destination. In the face of uncertainty, people get scared. Our direction is fuzzy, and we don’t know where we stand.
It’s stressful, but this is not the time to fade away as a leader. It would help if you stayed highly visible in the face of uncertainty. Step confidently in front of fear because it is the silent enemy that will wear teams down.
Guide your curiosity to find your own definition of success. You need to find your own calm and resolve within the work you do. The best way to motivate others is to be motivated yourself. This requires focusing on feeling good about your work, your team and your progress.
It helps to take a strong and consistent stand based on your values. Many leaders pander for others’ approval, but they have to be a chameleon and change their colours based on where they can draw the most appeal. But we grow weary of leaders who flip flop their ideals to meet the popular vote.
The number one reason people leave their job is they don’t feel appreciated. Two of the most basic human desires are validation and appreciation. Ignoring the performance of people creates resentment, and good team members leave.
What if you weren’t noticing people’s uniqueness and causing them to fade away?
It’s fascinating to see how quickly people equate to productivity. After all, that’s why we were hired to do a job. If we don’t accomplish things, we are let go.
It seems simple, but it’s not. People have so many layers. We all have so many hidden skills that never come to the surface. Often they remain invisible for an entire career; most jobs only uncover a small portion of our talents. You only bring the skill to the job that is required, leaving so much on the table. When a skill is unmined, it wastes away.
Let’s face it, money has a lot of power, and it drives business. However, money doesn’t tell the whole story. It barely skims the surface of human emotion, skill, planning, and effort teams invest in their jobs. Organizations are living, breathing cultures that come together to do something worthwhile. Every organization has a story brought to life by its people.
You can trade people for profit, but your story will suffer. It will feel jagged and incongruent. The gratification of quick profit will get you success in the short term, but your core value will fade away in the long run. Your organization becomes invisible.
Without the richness of emotion, progress seems pointless—people matter. If we put energy into relationships and bring out the best in our people, they will help you thrive.
Besides, what choice do we have? For organizations to remain viable today, we have to be nimble, responsive, and innovative. These are all qualities you find in people.