I read an article that a good friend of mine, Matt Tomsho wrote and I wanted to share it with you about motivation and loyalty; two words that are often abused. Matthew Tomsho is an author and speaker based in Pittsburgh, PA. He helps people become more effective in all they are doing, both personal and professional. You can find out more about what he calls “crypto-effectology” at his website: http://mjtomsho.com and his blog: http://mjtomsho.com/blog. He is also the author of soon-to be- released book, Leadership Starts With You. Fast Action Steps to Unlocking Your True Leadership Potential. Check his site for more information about it.
How do you motivate people? How do you inspire loyalty?
Like definitions of leadership there are more answers to those questions than there are people with answers. I will be covering specific strategies and tactics regarding motivation and loyalty in my next book, but no matter what strategies and tactics you decide on, one thing you must do is match your actions with your words. This seems so obvious, and yet so often it ends up as one of those “simple but hard” things that plague so many leaders. It is so easy to hang some motivational posters and write an inspirational mission statement, but it is really hard work to put those fancy words into actions. However, the cost of not doing it is high.
Motivation and loyalty require trust. I find it amusing when people say that “trust must be earned” (usually implying that the employee or team member must earn it). The very act of offering someone a job or asking them to join your team, and more importantly, the reciprocal act of accepting your offer means that some measure of trust has already been given. The question is not “how do you earn trust?” but rather “will you increase that trust or destroy it?” We all know how an employee or team member can destroy trust, but what about the person or persons “in charge”?
Do you “live” your mission statement? Do you believe the pretty words on those motivational posters? If not, then get rid of them. Nothing will destroy trust which in turn de-motivates and ensures a lack of loyalty, than creating an illusion of trust and then betraying it. People want to know what to expect. If the actions you take are counter to expectations you built, don’t be surprised when no one seems motivated or loyal; they simply can’t trust you.