“How do I get my team to take ownership over things?” “How do I get them to be problem-solvers instead of just being slaves to policy and process?” These may be the most common questions asked by business leaders today.
Here are three ways to inspire your team:
1. Have a Dream
Martin Luther King, in his famous “I have a dream” speech, didn’t focus on the past or the roadblocks ahead. He focused on the future and what it could look like. Inspire your team by giving them a vision – one that gives their work meaning and inspiration. Then work together with them to figure out how to achieve it.
2. Raise Your Game
Like it or not, your team is a direct reflection of you. If you are Eeyore, you will ultimately lead a team of Eeyores. Raise your energy level beyond the point where you are comfortable. If your team starts saying things like, “What’s got into her?” or “I wonder what he’s taking?” then they are seeing the change. Do this every day until it becomes the standard, not the exception.
3. Minimize Risk
Perhaps the most common reason people don’t take initiative is the inherent risk involved. We’ve all seen it happen. Someone breaks from protocol to do what they think is right, only to be chastised or hung out to dry by a manager. The risk that can be associated with creative problem-solving all too often greatly outweighs the reward (if there even is a reward). You can minimize this by making a point to always take full responsibility when employee decisions don’t work out, and always passing on credit when things do work out. Make doing the right thing a no-risk proposition. A team functions at a much higher level when they know that their leader always has their back.
There are great benefits when you inspire your team. Employee turnover decreases, and performance increases. Most importantly, it just makes it a whole lot more enjoyable to show up to work each day
“Having a leadership position doesn’t make one a leader. But having a leadership disposition does.”