Motivating Others – Video Guide
A lot of times we hear that leadership is all about motivating others and there are a variety of opinion on what the best way is to motivate others. If you've been checking out this site for a while, you know that we are very skeptical of one-size-fits-all solutions. At Evil Genius Leadership Consultants we normally advocate for doing your own research on a topic and pulling the best practices together to create your own approach. Choosing an approach towards getting your team all moving in the same direction is no different. Based on organizational behavior research we approach the idea of motivation from a different perspective; not by looking for a method or process to motivate others, but by understanding how human beings are motivated to behave the way they do.

Motivating Others – Video Guide

A lot of times we hear that leadership is all about motivating others and there are a variety of opinion on what the best way is to motivate others. If you’ve been checking out this site for a while, you know that we are very skeptical of one-size-fits-all solutions. At Evil Genius Leadership Consultants we normally advocate for doing your own research on a topic and pulling the best practices together to create your own approach. Choosing an approach towards getting your team all moving in the same direction is no different. Based on organizational behavior research we approach the idea of motivation from a different perspective; not by looking for a method or process to motivate others, but by understanding how human beings are motivated to behave the way they do.

Understanding Motivation vs. Motivating Others

The research tells us that every human being is motivated both intrinsically and extrinsically to varying degrees. Intrinsic motivation is that motivation is felt when task performance serves as its own reward. Put another way, this is the idea of personal satisfaction for a job well done. Extrinsic motivation is motivation controlled by some contingency that depends on task performance. This is the idea of increased pay, bonuses, benefits or other rewards based on results. The contingencies could also be negative, like getting fired or disciplined for not meeting a minimum standard.

It’s tempting to think that intrinsic motivation is better than extrinsic motivation but it’s more reasonable to approach the idea from the perspective that everyone is both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to some degree. Our job as leaders is to get to know the people on our team and understand this mix of motivational behavior in each individual. Once we understand what makes each person on our team tick, we can find creative ways to appeal to both their intrinsically and extrinsically motivated sides to enhance their performance and make the team stronger.

Check out the video for some detailed ways you can appeal to your team members intrinsically and extrinsically motivated sides.

One of the reasons we become leaders is to influence others in a positive direction to make the world a better place, but we often underestimate our ability and feel that we are not important enough or experienced enough to have much sway over what others think. The reality is that we have an influence over those around us every day but just don't consciously think about it. Most people care about their organizations and are open about discussion and debate about how to best achieve the results we want. If each of us really thought about it we all have at least one or two areas where we have some extensive knowledge or perspective that we can use to help shape others opinions about how to move forward successfully. Being conscious of the influence we have on others and using it wisely to promote positive change is one of our most important responsibilities as leaders.

Influence – Video Guide

One of the reasons we become leaders is to influence others in a positive direction to make the world a better place, but we often underestimate our ability and feel that we are not important enough or experienced enough to have much sway over what others think. The reality is that we have an influence over those around us every day but just don’t consciously think about it. Most people care about their organizations and are open about discussion and debate about how to best achieve the results we want. If each of us really thought about it we all have at least one or two areas where we have some extensive knowledge or perspective that we can use to help shape others opinions about how to move forward successfully. Being conscious of the influence we have on others and using it wisely to promote positive change is one of our most important responsibilities as leaders.

Positive Ways to Influence Others

  1. Find the knowledge and expertise that you have that no one else has
  2. Figure out who the audience is or the group of people who this topic is important to and share your thoughts and ideas with them
  3. Tell your story – use real examples and experiences from your own life to emphasize the points you’re trying to make
  4. Pick your moments wisely – sharing  your thoughts and experiences at the appropriate moment is often more important than what you share

Setting ourselves up with a positive mindset about influence before we share is critical to getting our message across. Approaching conversations from the perspective of sharing and being open-minded is often received better than if we are seeking to portray ourselves as an expert or persuading others to get our own way.

Photo Credit: By West Midlands Police from West Midlands, United Kingdom [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Presidents' Day remind us of our commitment as leaders to continue a life-long study of leadership. One of the most effective ways we can pursue those studies is to take a look back at our role models and assess how they applied leadership to accomplish their goals. Looking at a wide variety of leaders and leadership styles gives us a number of different sources to help us define our own leadership style.

Role Models – Video Challenge

Presidents’ Day reminds us of our commitment as leaders to continue a life-long study of leadership. One of the most effective ways we can pursue those studies is to take a look back at our role models and assess how they applied leadership to accomplish their goals. Looking at a wide variety of leaders and leadership styles gives us a number of different sources to help us define our own leadership style.

Assessing Our Role Models

When we think about successful leaders, especially on Presidents’ Day, we tend to think about widely known leaders of historical significance, but our study of leadership doesn’t have to be focused on the most powerful or successful leaders in history. We can learn just as much, if not more, from leaders we have experienced first-hand in our own lives. We can also learn a great deal from leaders who weren’t always successful in their endeavors. Reflecting on how those role models dealt with failure and overcame significant challenges can give us even greater insight into the kind of leaders we want to be.

Remember, nobody is perfect, including ourselves and our role models, so as we examine traits and qualities made these leaders successful or unsuccessful, we may find some qualities that we don’t find so desirable. This is okay though, because we don’t have to emulate only one leader or leadership style to create our own. We can choose the traits and qualities that we think will make us most successful as leaders and incorporate them from a wide range of leadership styles. Creating our own leadership style based on our core values will help us to be genuine and authentic leaders.

Take a few minutes this Presidents’ Day to find some role models that you admire and think about which aspects of their leadership traits and skills you’d like to adopt into your own leadership style.

As Valentine's Day approache, we're probably all focused on our significant other or the personal relationships we have in our lives, but this is also a good time to reflect on how we go about building professional relationships with others. Professional relationships are very much like personal relationships in that the best ones are based on a genuine connection with other people, not based on selling something or getting something out of the relationship. If we want to be successful building professional relationships, we need to be focused on making that genuine connection from the very first meeting and maintaining it through the life of the relationship.

Building Professional Relationships – Video Guide

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’re probably all focused on our significant other or the personal relationships we have in our lives, but this is also a good time to reflect on how we go about building professional relationships with others. Professional relationships are very much like personal relationships in that the best ones are based on a genuine connection with other people, not based on selling something or getting something out of the relationship. If we want to be successful building professional relationships, we need to be focused on making that genuine connection from the very first meeting and maintaining it through the life of the relationship.

Tips for Building Professional Relationships

  1. Consider who you want to build relationships with. They could be people in your current occupation or industry, other industries or maybe they share a similar passion or interest. Being conscious about who you want to bring into you want to bring into your network and why can help foster that genuine connection.
  2. Go where these people are. If you’re looking to make a connection with people in a certain industry or field, you’ve got to find them where they usually are. Networking events, meetup groups, trade shows and conferences are all great ways to connect with people who have specific areas of interest and expertise. Don’t forget social media and online forums too.
  3. Approach the connections you want to make. This may sound scary but you can’t start building professional relationships with people until you start talking to them. Remember that we’re trying to build an authentic connection, so don’t approach them trying to sell your product or service; just get to know them and find out what they’re interested in and passionate about. It’s okay to be selective about who you start a professional relationship with, so if you find that you’re just not connecting with someone you don’t need to pursue that relationship further.
  4. Maintain the relationship. Once you have that relationship established it’s important to keep the connection going. You don’t need to talk with the person every day, but checking in once in a while over email or meeting up for coffee are great ways to maintain the relationship.

Watch this week’s video to get more detail on how to apply these tips to your own professional relationships.

It's still pretty early in the year and while everyone on the team is focused on upcoming goals and improvements, it's a good time to consider starting new initiatives that improve out team's ability to complete their mission or make their lives easier. As we all know, change is hard for most human beings to embrace so it's important that we are clear with ourselves about the purpose for the change as well as what any of the benefits and impacts may be before we implement.

Starting New Initiatives – Video Guide

It’s still pretty early in the year and while everyone on the team is focused on upcoming goals and improvements, it’s a good time to consider starting new initiatives that improve our team’s ability to complete their mission or make their lives easier. As we all know, change is hard for most human beings to embrace so it’s important that we are clear with ourselves about the purpose for the change as well as what any of the benefits and impacts may be before we implement.

Tips for Starting New Initiatives

As stated above, it’s critical that we have a very clear picture in our own mind of why we want to bring about change and what the potential benefits are. Before starting new initiatives we should also do some research to see who might be impacted by the change and how, whether they are members of our own team or someone else in our organization. Clarity in these areas helps us minimize impacts and maximize benefits, which will help others embrace the change more easily.

Once we have an initial plan, it’s helpful to “shop it around” to key stakeholders and other people we trust and respect to get their feedback on it before we try to implement change. Getting some fresh eyes on the plan can show us how we might be affecting others in a way that we didn’t originally intend. Many initiatives are started with good intentions,  but the get derailed because the unintended consequences to others create resistance. Some careful forethought and prior coordination can go a long way towards getting others on board with the new initiative.

When starting new initiatives there are some key ideas to keep in mind as we enter the execution phase. Clearly communicating the new expectations to the team and other key stakeholders is a good place to start. Holding everyone accountable for the new role is critical to the success of any new initiative. Giving credit and recognition to the team for making a difficult change let’s the team know they’re appreciated and helps them share in the newly acquired benefits.