So you are technically proficient and have done such a good job that you have been promoted to manager. You feel comfortable with managing a project but now there is a new challenge. You are responsible for people! You manage things. You lead people. You are going to have to learn how to be a leader. In order to get the best out of your new team you are going to have to inspire your people to give their best. Unfortunately, you do not have a clue how to do that. Let me give you a few helpful ideas to get you started.
- Attitude. Is your glass half full or half empty? If you want to inspire your team to perform at it’s highest levels, you and your team will have to have a positive attitude and it begins with you. Who can be their best when the boss is running around complaining and kicking cans down the road. The best way to get things started every day is to walk into the office with a smile. Yes, it sounds trivial but it means a great deal. Even if your team is a virtual team, smile on the phone. Those on the phone or web meeting will be able to feel you smiling. I promise. It works! Exhibit a “can do” attitude. If you cannot be positive, how do you expect those who work for you to be positive?
You Can Do It!
- Get Your Hands Dirty. Few great leaders got there by barking orders out of the corner office. They lead by walking around, visiting with people, often, to find out not just want is getting done but what they can do to help overcome obstacles, unblock roadways, get the right resources, encourage creativity and thank people for progress.
- Tell stories! Either in a team setting or on an individual basis, find inspiring people or successes stories you and your team can relate to as they struggle with an issue. Knowing they are not the first to struggle with issues can help them feel like the impossible is possible. Think about people who have inspired your life. Maybe it was Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, George Patton, a wounded warrior, a friend. Inspirational stories usually involve people who have either overcome themselves or help others overcome extreme situations with honor, integrity, perseverance and creativity. So tell them a story or ask someone on your team to share one of their inspirational stories.
Be the light others are drawn to
- Live a life that people aspire to be. You are a leader. It is not an 8 to 5 thing it is 24/365 thing. As a leader, you are always on. Live a life both at the office and on your own time that is a life others can look up to and aspire to be someone like you. One of the best ways to inspire others is to just simply show that you care. Just so you know, people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Find ways inside and outside to care for others. Become a part of something bigger than yourself.
I will close by pointing out that you did not see pep rallies, marketing programs, incentive plans, etc. listed above. I classify those as motivation. Learn there is a difference and you will be well on your way to inspiring those around you.
I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments! www.thecorporatesoulhandbook.com