If people see their work they are currently doing as nothing more than a job for a pay-check, they will become frustrated overtime. To be successful, to inspire, we need to keep growing, learning, and expanding our potential.
If the people in your team have settled into their role or position, whether it’s because they are in a comfort zone or because they see their work just as a job, it’s your job as a leader to inspire and help them open their eyes and think beyond today. Help them to realize that a job is never big enough for a human being. Offer them something beyond their job by doing the following:
1. Share your passion: If you have a passion for what you do, you need to share it with your people. A leader’s passion is contagious. It can attract other passionate people and it can spark a flame in people who might not otherwise be passionate. If they can understand and connect with the vision you have and the passion you feel, there is a good chance that they will catch it and become passionate too.
2. Paint a picture of a better future: People often want to make a difference. One of your job as a leader is to paint a picture of their future that inspires them to work harder today. Tell them who they can become. Show them what they could someday be doing. This must be done with integrity, because as leaders, we never want to manipulate people. We just want to help them envision the future.
3. Show how their role makes a difference: Too often people don’t understand how the tasks they do contribute to the bigger picture. Good leaders help team members understand their role. They help them see how their contribution is making a difference. This gives team members a sense of ownership over the mission, and inspires them to do better work.
4. Challenge them to keep growing: H Nelson Jackson said: “I do not believe you can do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.” That’s why we need to help people see the value of growing. It is essential not only for the organization’s viability, but also for the individual’s future. People who make growth their goal – instead of title, position, salary, or other external target – always have a future.
All the above is only effective if, as a leader, you are yourself passionate about your own work. That is essential. People cannot catch fire from a leader who has grown cold. If you aren’t fired up, you are a big part of the problem, and the first person you must address is yourself.
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