Contagious Success

Every leader should have a common goal of adding value to others. True leadership builds upon relationships which are created by contributing to the growth of others, and an organization. Let’s face it, every time we ratchet up the confidence, skill sets, and capabilities of our team, the organization gains value. Realistically, this is THE way to make any organization better in a competitive society. In any arena, there is only two ways to make the team better. Get new players, or make the players better. (replacing the leader hopefully is not an option).

Surveys reveal that the greatest motivator among employees is significance. That is correct. It is not the often assumed magnificent dollar (although raises do suggest importance). Individuals want to know that they are contributing, and making a successful operation more successful. In a nutshell, they want to know that what they do matters.

This leads those in charge to a serious responsibility if we want our organization to go forward. Strategize success for those who are in the game with us. Team moral and momentum is maximized when obtainable results are reached and celebrated. However, more often than not, objectives fall into three categories.

1. Objectives that are unrealistic in scope and potential.
2. Objectives that are reached and never celebrated.
3. Objectives that are obtained and celebrated.

Any guess as to which of the three provides the greatest motivation and moral boost? Let’s take a quick look at the three. Number one is often referred to as the dangling carrot. Always out of reach with the aim of keeping the horse moving. This plan causes frustration from both parties as the person being motivated gives up when they see the futility of their effort, and the leader/manager can’t understand why performance diminishes with time rather than advances.

Number two has some of the same results, yet in a different pattern. The team member finds indifference to their achievement to translate into indifference toward the goal. Needless to say, parties and bonuses are not realistic at every level of success. But, acknowledgement and a pat on the back go a long way in building morale. But, keep it real. Insincere praise challenges most people’s intelligence and can be an affront to some.

Number three means partnering in successes, one at a time. Set the target within reach to build confidence and moral. Make the achievement a positive experience. If possible, even make it fun. The team will then welcome each goal as an opportunity, rather than just numbers pulled out of a hat because it was presumed they needed a target at which to aim. Each time a member wins, the team wins. With each success, confidence is built. That is when those on your team want to come to work. The positive momentum keeps energy alive, and may even reveal profitable creativity.

Bottom line…people love to succeed. Make it happen!


written by James Anderson

Consultant, Expecting More

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