The real way to motivate!

The real way to motivate!


The start of a new year almost always brings with it a sense of new beginnings. We often use the flipping of the calendar as an impetus for change or as an opportunity to establish new goals. Leaders, wonder how to better motivate and inspire their organization. Those organizations whose fiscal year is aligned with the calendar year, now have new financial targets and objectives to achieve.


It is not enough to just ensure organizational understanding of the objectives and tie remuneration to their achievement. Town Hall meetings that share the vision, strategies and tactics are helpful, but do little to impact employee engagement. KPI’s and other forms of measurement aid understanding and progress, but don’t inspire. To truly inspire and motivate, to foster employee engagement, you must operate from the fundamental belief that the power is in understanding people not just numbers. This is integrative leadership.


Integrative leaders have a mindset that leadership is more than just vision and strategy. It is not just about budgets and numbers. Integrative leadership at its root is about people and understanding what fuels them.


The default strategy for motivating employees or for improving employee engagement is most often incentives. Yet to most, it is not just about the money. Don’t get me wrong; I doubt you will find many who don’t value the cash. Beyond the money however, incentives and bonuses meet deeper needs, those that an integrative leader understands are necessary in order to inspire, engage and motivate. These include a need to be heard, cared for, respected and valued. An integrative leader understands that within those lie other underlying factors such as ego, fear and insecurities.


To meet these needs, an integrative leader must come from a position of authenticity. You cannot feign interest; to be effective it must be genuine. This requires a willingness to call upon traits that often are not aligned with the common view of a business leader. But common leadership skills will not achieve uncommon results, integrative leadership will! These traits include, compassion, vulnerability and humility. The critical ingredient to mix with those traits is presence. There is no greater way to demonstrate to an employee that they are heard, cared for, respected and valued than to offer 100% of your attention and to listen fully.


To many this may sound like the job of a therapist or even worse, just fluff. It certainly is a departure from normative business school education. Don’t just believe what is written. Rather a challenge, find a quite space and ask your self “what are my needs?” On a piece of paper, write them down. Once you have completed the list, go back through and for each need ask “why do I have this need?” The purpose is to drill deeper into the root of your needs. More than likely, you will find commonality with those discussed above, to be heard, cared for, respected and valued. Possessing an understanding that your needs are also your employee needs is the path to integrative leadership.


To learn more about this approach to leadership, schedule a Growth Session.


Thanks for reading.