by Chris Widener
One thing I know to be true but many people do not believe is that people do want to be motivated. Sometimes people will say, “But they just won’t follow.” Not true. You just haven’t motivated them to follow you! Get certain things right and they will follow! With that in mind, here are some keys to getting people to follow your leadership.
1. Inspire and Challenge Them. People want to be inspired. They want to be encouraged to think bigger and better things. They want to look for and climb big mountains. They want to have someone help them dream their biggest dreams. That’s inspiration! They also want someone to set the high bar for them. They want someone to tell them that they can and should aim higher and go for more. That’s challenge! Show them the lofty heights, because not many others are. And the one who does is the one who will lead them.
2. Teach Them. One of the greatest leadership development programs in the world is at General Electric. Jack Welch has personally devoted himself to its growth. And he has spent thousands and thousands of hours there himself, teaching in a classroom setting. He knows that information must be communicated. Take the time and be patient. Teach those who follow you how to go. Don’t be condescending because in the process, you will probably learn something yourself!
3. Empathize With Them. OK, it’s almost cliché by now, but the saying, “I feel your pain” worked! Why? Because people want their leaders to feel their pain. They want them to know what it feels like when it is hard or when it is work. This doesn’t mean every board meeting has to be a touchy-feely sob-fest, but we ought to do more than tell our followers to “Suck it up soldier!” This day and age, that doesn’t fly. They want to know that you understand what they are going through and that you care. Sit down with them. Ask questions about the situation. And follow up with them.
4. Strategize With Them. Some, but very few people want to be told what to do and then left alone. Most would like some direction and help in the area of strategy. Take the time to plot out the plan of action. Even if you know it, it is best to not just hand it over and say, “Now do it.” Take them step-by-step so they learn how to do it themselves. Remember, we aren’t just trying to get the job done; we are trying to get the job done and create new leaders under us. This is an investment!
5. Dream With Them. Take an interest in what it is that they want to accomplish in their life. Give them opportunity to dream about what your organization or business can become. Let them, encourage them, to dream big dreams, and then do all you can to share that dream, foster that dream, and make that dream a reality! Let them know that you are committed to them achieving their dreams and they will follow you to the ends of the earth!
6. Encourage Them to Shoot for the Stars. This is closely aligned with having them dream, but this has more to do with the size of their dream! Most people will underestimate what they can do or what they want to accomplish. Most people have much more potential than they realize, let alone live up to. Help them by encouraging them to stretch their dreams so they are even bigger and greater than their first plan.
7. Communicate Honestly and Clearly With Them. People who follow want their leaders to be honest with them. They act of following is based on believing that you are being told the truth about where you are going! Be open about the positives and the negatives. People can take it and if you make them integral to the solutions, then even tough problems become a chance for teamwork! Communicate in many ways: written, verbal etc.
Just do it regularly so they know what the plan is, where you are going, what time departure is and the estimated time of arrival at destination SUCCESS!
Chris Widener is a popular speaker and author who has shared the podium with US Presidents, helping individuals and organizations succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams.
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