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    by Mark Cooper 0 comments

The secret behind great Leadership lies in understanding the motivating behaviors of people. To do this justice you must first understand basic human psychology including your own underlying personality and how you yourself behave when exposed to certain situations. How do you cope when you are placed under stress and how is that represented to your team. Do you become grumpy, frustrated, negative, depressing or are you somebody that thrives under stress and provides a positive and infectious energy to the wider group. Do your team want to follow you, learn from you and work harder for you. Some people even become more creative under stress and their real “juices” begin to flow.

Part 2 is then to understand how to inspire the most appropriate behavior for any particular situation from the people you are leading through to the achievement of the “end game”.

Understanding the 16 primary motivating behaviors of human beings provides insight into the fact that most people go to work to do a great job, to feel appreciated and to feel a sense of contribution. This in turn makes them feel better about themselves and appeals to the inner ego and ultimate sense of “self value”. Therefore, good leaders are always looking for opportunities to bring out the best in their people by appealing to basic human instinct. If they can successfully achieve this then they are able to better achieve the collective team goal.

So this is standard stuff, however how do we achieve this and keep it alive and energetic within the team? It is not just about giving everybody everything that they want but rather about the healthy balance between delivering and learning; responsibility and accountability; and being challenged to achieve new personal limits, while feeling like you are still contributing, achieving and being valued.

In all challenging initiatives there will be multiple responses from your team. These will be based on a myriad of ingredients derived from individual personal & professional history including exposure to previous like challenges; current happenings in their personal lives; personal confidence/esteem; sense of ability to influence change etc, etc. That means that while some will be thriving with a particular challenge, others may
well be struggling to work their way through it. A good leader recognizes that amongst his group he has a component of all of these behaviors and therefore seeks to maximize the collective value. He or she is thinking about who do I pair off with who; who can assume more responsibility; who is a motivator and
leader them-self and who wants less responsibility and would rather follow. How do i lift the overall level of professionalism and sense of ownership, team confidence, team value, team contribution and team worth. Who is going to struggle, who might I need to replace so that the rest of the team is still
able to achieve. How much oversight and re-enforcement am I going to need to do along the way to ensure the team performance remains finely tuned & fully optimized.

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There is no right or wrong answer to this imperfect equation. There is only the requirement for constant vigilance around the right balance between empowerment of the team and the right level of controls that will help ensure that team and individual
performance is fully optimized throughout each lifecycle of the particular challenge. This would suggest that even when everything is running to plan, the importance of a sensible balance between well disciplined controls and uninhibited workflow becomes even more critical. It is all about the “checks and balances”.

A final thought for the day that finds it’s history in Special Force Organizations throughout the world. It is simply that “when an individual believes that they have nothing more to give, then they are in fact only 30% of the way there”, therefore the challenge for any leader is in understanding how he can motivate the individual and collective team for the remaining 70% performance improvement.

Author Bio

  • Mark Cooper

    I just wanted to pass back some feedback on the Future Leaders training course.. It was the most inspiring and self-informing training that I have ever completed, it allowed me to take the time to understand my values, how I can and want to exhibit leadership as well as refocusing and defining my career, and in a way life objectives. I'd like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity, and I would highly recommend other leaders within the organisation participate in this course.

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