The Tough Questions Continue


 Question:  How are you able to motivate people to full commitment and have them make that extra effort to achieve a common goal?

First of all, you will never be able to motivate everyone . . . and I am not sure that motivating people is really possible.  Generally I think that most people need to motivate themselves.


I believe the answer is that we, as leaders or parents (who have big-time leadership positions), have to create the right environment so that individuals have no excuses for not being motivated—except for their own negative attitudes.


If we, as leaders, create an environment that is respectful and professional, then we are doing the best we can.


If we, as leaders, understand how to lead and teach people through our own example, we will be on the way to creating a healthy, safe, and respectful environment.


Leaders need to understand the Four Cast/Employee Expectations deeply, and they need to learn how to practice them every minute of the day.


Remember that the Four Cast/Employee Expectations are:

  • Make Me Feel Special
  • Treat Me As An Individual
  • Respect Me
  • Develop Me, Educate Me, and Know My Job!


You make people feel special by knowing them . . . and by paying attention to them . . . and by being available for them when they need you.  You find opportunities often to provide recognition for them and to thank them.


You treat people as individuals by understanding their needs, goals, and dreams.  You use your leadership position to do your very best to understand each individual’s unique self and help him or her when you can.


You show respect to everyone, no matter where they are from, what color their skin is, what culture they are from, what gender they are, what religion they practice, what their sexual orientation is, and on and on.  Just treat everyone with respect; and if you practice Nos. 1, 2, and 4 above, you will be doing just that.

I assure you that if you are focused on all of your team members and know them well and care about them, you will be very involved in their development.  Help them improve themselves and understand their jobs, and they will never ever forget you.


Do these things and you will be well on the way to creating an environment where large numbers of your fellow team members will move from interested in what they are doing . . . to committed.


Make sure you are continually improving yourself as well so that you can practice the Four Team Member Expectations well.


Our responsibility as leaders is to be there for our people . . . and not for them to be there for us.


Remember that everyone knows who really cares and who is just playing the game.  People watch everything you do, and they judge you.  They are always comparing what you say with your actions  . . . and the difference is the truth.


Never underestimate the power and influence you can have in making a difference in someone’s life.


And once again, remember that it is not your job to motivate people.  It is your job to set the stage where they as individuals can thrive and where their self-esteem and self-confidence is top of mind.   . . . Lee


PS:    One lady this week wrote to me to tell me that it is hard to be positive when the top leadership is not positive and does not respect the opinion of the people under them. I told her that is true, but you have to act positive until you can find another organization that does appreciate all of you.

  1. What a great post. I have struggled with the idea of how do I motivate the people that I lead. The guidance Lee gives here is invaluable. I will start applying the 4 expectations immediatly!

  2. Sound advise as always, one thing that sticks out for me at least is “Help them improve themselves and understand their jobs” there is nothing more painfull than to watch someone in a leadership position putting on the motivation face mask to try and energize someone who’s name they don’t even know never mind understanding what they do. You can feel an energy when you are around a true leader and people react to that. Jim

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