Leaders to Leader

Lessons from the Great American Leaders & How They Apply Now

Posts Tagged ‘motivators

Motivation Must Be Personal To Be Effective

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All employees are unique in what motivates them to perform to their capacity and excel in their profession. Most will do what is expected of them, but the motivated employee will go to great lengths to exceed expectations. The key is for managers to discover what truly drives their people. Once their motivation is understood, leaders have the power to get the most out of their employees.

Managers often feel there is no need to motivate their employees as long as the pay is adequate. Yet research has demonstrated that the majority of personal motivation is based upon a host of other significant factors such as achievement, recognition, responsibility, personal growth, and advancement.

Compensation is certainly a motivating factor, but it is often linked to these more prime motivators. A poorly designed compensation plan will cause employees to feel unappreciated and not be reflective of their personal achievements. Consequently, many employees link their compensation to their perception of how they are recognized within the organization.

Managers must understand that it is within their power and control to motivate each member of their team to excel.

Managers who wish to maximize their employees’ performance use specific motivators to create an environment in which individuals feel valued for their contributions to the company, know their efforts are appreciated and supported by the organization, and have the desire to achieve higher levels of personal performance. These results can be achieved by nurturing an atmosphere that includes the following elements:


Managers must take a genuine personal interest in each employee. Although significant, this means going beyond his or her life outside of work. The main areas in which to devote individual attention are in mentoring and nurturing a personal and professional growth as well as in understanding what motivates them. When managers demonstrate an interest in their employees, they are giving and sharing their time, lives and expertise with their employees.


Managers who wish to motivate their employees must develop confidence in their abilities. This means allowing employees to experiment with new ideas and techniques while understanding that, as people grow through their experiences, many lessons are best learned through personal mistakes and failure.

Managers must also have the confidence that their employees can develop realistic and attainable plans and allow them to work those plans without interference or micromanagement. Individuals who know they have the liberty to perform their jobs without fear of retribution if they falter are more motivated and empowered to stretch the limits of their capabilities.


Employees must be challenged to stretch their personal and professional limits. This includes personal and professional development in areas of vocational knowledge, skills and expertise.


Managers must maintain a sense of pride in their team, their company and the products they sell. Employees must continually sell themselves on the value of the company and its products or services. If employees aren’t sold, they will have difficulty convincing others of the company’s worth. Additionally, as people need a spark to overcome daily stress and adversity, managers must build and nurture a passion in their employees to achieve and succeed.


Managers must establish a sense of fellowship between the individual members of their workplace, which thereby creates comradery and emotional support. Successfully done, this builds a strong team atmosphere and healthy sense of friendly competition that is beneficial to the organization.

Reward and Recognition

Managers should use fair and consistent standards with which to measure performance and base rewards and recognition. Employees should be evaluated against their own performance, and, for best impact, appropriate recognition should be given immediately.


Beyond tangible rewards and recognition, managers must demonstrate their personal appreciation for the efforts and contributions made by their individual employees. They should also avoid taking the top performers on their team for granted. Because these individuals need little attention or direction, they are often overlooked as managers invest more time with more inexperienced or problematic employees. To stretch their personal abilities, the best of the group also need ongoing recognition, appreciation and encouragement.


Motivation Is More Than Money

16 Ways to Motivate Employees and to Celebrate Their Successes

Leaders Have Three Motivational Tools Available to Them

Recognition Must Be Given Liberally, Frequently and Publicly

Excerpt: Motivating Employees: Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011) $ 17.95 USD

Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D. | Author | Publisher | Majorium Business Press
Author of Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It (Finalist – 2011 Foreword Reviews‘ Book of the Year)
Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Web| Blog | Catalog |800.654.4935 | 715.342.1018

Copyright © 2013 Timothy F. Bednarz, All Rights Reserved

Written by Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D.

February 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

Visionary Leaders Are in a Different Class

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Leaders are continually facing situations of constant change and adaptation. Creating and implementing a vision helps them determine ways to overcome associated roadblocks, hindrances and employee resistance.

As employees and leaders alike are typically subjected to a broad range of external and internal pressures, leaders are faced with the challenge of creating an appropriate or “right” vision, then persuading various categories of employees—from avid supporters to procrastinators and laggards—to accept the vision and work toward its fulfillment.

A carefully crafted leadership vision provides the means to generate new and more flexible ways of working and thinking as a group. It enables leaders to set a specific organizational course of direction, then pursue it by selecting, equipping and training employees focused on the mission and its objectives to carry it out.

Defining, selling and emphasizing the vision motivates employees to willingly and enthusiastically expend personal, emotional, and physical energy in its pursuit. Specific organizational goals and objectives are accepted and embraced because employees have “bought in” to the vision.

A leader achieves this needed influence by displaying a servant attitude and modest stance while conveying a “prophetic and profound vision of the future.” The vision and its associated direction are presented in clear terms that resonate with employee beliefs and values.

Related: Attaining Organizational Results Requires Visionary Thinking and Planning on Multiple Levels

Once this takes place, employees begin to understand and interpret “the future” in the context of present actions and steps.

During the process, the leader presents his or her vision in contrast to the present status and state of the organization. Through the use of critical thinking skills, insight, intuition, active listening and positive discourse, the leader is able to facilitate and draw out employee opinions and beliefs.

This process allows employees to move from ambiguity toward clarity of understanding, which helps them to develop shared insights that result in influencing them to see the future state of the organization as a desirable condition worth committing to.

The leader begins to move the vision forward in an ethical and productive way, which implies seeking out what constitutes “the greater good” in regard to his or her employees.

During this process the leader constantly emphasizes how and why the employees will be better off as a result of open and positive leadership interaction.

The leader is then able to achieve higher levels of trust and commitment to the vision as he or she seeks personal growth, renewal, and increased stamina through these positive leader-employee interactions.

A Visionary Leader Is Set Apart from Others

Visionary leaders are in a different class than traditional mission-focused leaders. They seem to sense the unknowable, which includes seeing others’ unique talents and abilities. These tend to influence the decisions the leader makes, and help him or her shape a better plan for the future.

Leaders with vision are outstanding “conceptualizers,” nurturing their own and others’ abilities to dream and think beyond the ordinary and day-to-day limitations. They motivate across generational boundaries to enable employee groups to learn and embrace change.

As individual work environments often directly affect employee capabilities, visionary leaders know they can and should affect employee perceptions as to their own personal capabilities. An outcome of this process is that the leader can more fully prepare and build employee followers to accomplish what they are capable of and beyond.

The building up of employee followers results in the leader knowing their capabilities to the point where enhanced trust empowers them to accomplish necessary organizational tasks, assignments and projects.

Related: When Motivating Employees, Expectations Are Everything

Visionary Leaders Are Motivators

Leaders with vision are extremely capable of motivating and instilling a sense of vision “buy-in,” desire, commitment and determination in their employees.

They have the innate ability to engage others in their direction. They also tend to be masters of determining their employees’ true capacities, which can be used to help seek out and overcome optimal challenges.

Inspiring the vision implies rallying employees to acknowledge a common purpose and path of direction in its behalf. Employees become motivated to behave in particular, positive ways. This true sense of motivation does not spring from external rewards or threats, but internally from individual desires of job and personal satisfaction.

Intrinsic motivation results in generating a sense of pleasure while interacting with others as well as while engaged in necessary jobs, projects and tasks.

Related: Building Employee Support Requires Interactive Leadership

Becoming a More Visionary Leader

Visionary leaders tend to transcend organizational expectations as well as the goals they set for themselves and their employees.

Leaders can become more forward-thinking, craft an inspiring vision and make it a reality by adhering to the following tips and strategies:

  • Generate movement by focusing on what is in the best interests of their employees from a long-term standpoint.
  • Motivate employees into action and commitment by satisfying their basic human needs.
  • Talk in terms of dreams and possibilities that work to inspire the vision.
  • Think in terms of a broader organizational view, as well as why it is important to forge a new territory of organizational direction.
  • Remain farsighted while working in shorter steps that focus on generating small successful outcomes.
  • Work to inspire employees to do things without actually sitting on top of them with a checklist in hand.
  • Integrate employee ideas to foster ownership in the vision.
  • Maintain the ability to see objectively and in an unbiased manner.
  • Do the right thing in all circumstances and situations.
  • Keep up with future trends and how they will effect the organization.
  • Make consistent and effective contributions to work tasks and team projects.
  • Continually inspire employee followers through speeches and pep talks that get them to work toward the vision.

Excerpt: Creating & Sustaining a Strong Vision: Pinpoint Leadership Skill Development Training Series by Timothy Bednarz (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011)

Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D. | Author | Publisher | Majorium Business Press
Author of Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It (Finalist – 2011 Foreword Reviews‘ Book of the Year)
Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Web| Blog | Catalog |800.654.4935 | 715.342.1018

Copyright © 2012 Timothy F. Bednarz, All Rights Reserved

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