Many managers and leaders simply use force and fear to get their team members to carry out the actions they want from them. Effective managers and great leaders simply use influence to create motivation in their subordinates or team members to maximise output in a sustainable fashion. Which one of the two is your approach to management or leadership?
When force and fear are used to get others to do work, work only gets done as a response to force and fear and only to a level that can satisfy the force and fear being experienced. When force and fear are not experienced or foreseen, no work gets done. You need to be superhuman to have omni-presence of force on your team members.
On the other hand, however, when work is done under influence of motivation, you get team members achieving far beyond levels that force and fear can achieve. Motivated staff will go to extreme levels in their drive to excel beyond record because they are motivated to achieve the best possible results. With motivation, you don’t have to always be there, you don’t have to always instruct to get team members to take action.
With motivation, you create a spirit of innovation and creativity. Team members are willing and feel free to attempt new things that can produce dramatic results. In this way, members work from the heart because they serve not just the boss, but also their personal interests, their personal pride and ego. If you create this spirit in your staff, you will have built a winning army.
When you want very special output from a team member, rather than instilling a sense of fear of failure in them, try showing the team member that you trust that he or she is the best suited to solve the problem or do the action. Approach them with positive energy of trust rather than negative energy of fear and doubt. Injecting positive energy of trust in staff members makes them do their best to do a good job.
Showing trust to the team member that they can do their best needs to be done in a holistic manner. Mentioning to a staff member that you trust them as best performer for the job asked of them is not enough. An effective manager or great leader will go further to demonstrate that trust. They will mention to third parties that they trust the team member. When the subordinates hear from others that their boss trusts them, they will believe that even more than hearing directly from the boss.
All this needs to also be demonstrated in action. A boss who is constantly watching over the subordinates as they carry out their job does very little to demonstrate that he or she trusts the team. It is good to give the team enough space to operate on their own. But the other extreme can also be as bad when the boss never shows up, follows up or checks progress as it will be viewed as if the boss does not have adequate interest in the actions of the team below.
Clearly, an effective manager or a great leader is expected to have very good balancing skills to keep in check conflicting forces. Effective management and great leadership demand that the ‘boss’ shows enough interest and provides adequate support to team members while at the same time, not appearing to be distrusting of the same members. Effective managers and great leaders are those that quickly discover the points where their forces balance out. It is a matter of experiment and experience, intuition and observation.
Some managers and leaders believe in delivering through use of force and creation of a feeling of fear among the members of the teams that they lead. But effective managers and great leaders believe in motivating their team members to entrust them with independence and responsibility to achieve maximised and sustained success by the team members. Good luck as you seek to adopt appropriate management and leadership styles.