Motivation – Why All Bosses Are Not Created Equal


This article is one of Christine’s most popular articles. It has been published in American
Chamber Executives Association, ISSA Prochem UK, Prochem Australia, Construction
Financial Management Association and numerous trade publications worldwide.

When employees are asked this question, you might think the response would be “It’s my job to keep myself motivated.” But, in reality, the most frequent answer is, “It’s my boss’s job.”

Surprised? Don’t be. In an ideal world, motivation would come exclusively from within. More often than not, however, it’s up to management to maintain employee morale. It takes dynamic leadership to activate, and preferably inspire self-motivation in those you lead to ensure future success. Regardment and motivation from leadership of your “human capital” that holds the key to sustainable, long-term growth.

Those you lead are resless of the size of your company, it isn’t just strategic marketing and sound decision making that’s vital to your success. It’s constant developponsible for the reputation your company has in the marketplace. They hold the key to the solutions to your problems, methods to improve quality, new types of services to provide, and the ideas about what the company needs to do to move forward in today’s highly challenging business climate. Assuming, of course, that you are a “leader” and not a “boss” and know how to generate from them their own ideas in these areas. Plus, you need to inspire them to show initiative beyond their job description.

Can you give someone motivation? What simple tips can you apply immediately? Continue to read below this description of one of Christine’s hottest programs:

Can you give someone motivation? Many believe that only an individual can motivate himself or herself. But as an executive, manageror supervisor, you can obviously nourish and sustain that self-motivation. The key is to keep them in the right frame of mind by making them feel that they are working with you, not for you. If they feel they are only working for you, many of them will merely go through the motions to protect their job and their paycheck. They will never put their hearts and souls intotheir work, nor will they show initiative beyond their immediate responsibilities.

To make a difference in your company, you must be a great person to work with. By consistently doing the things that build relationships-such as taking the time you’re your demanding schedule for expressing appreciation,requesting suggestions and then listening carefully to them, and encouraging new and better ideas-you will show them you care. You also need to pay attention to them. Fundamentally, you gain control by not trying to exercise control. This behavior in amanager helps to encourage employees to be cooperative and productiveof their own free will. In fact, the secret is to act more like a leader and less like a boss. In other words, someone you would be excited about working with.

Five Things You Can Do Immediately

Here are five things you can start to do right now. Put them into practice, and you just might see a big difference in the level of job satisfaction.

1. Never let a single day go by without spending twenty minutes talking to individuals or your team.

2. At least once a week, thank your employees (individually!) and express appreciation for hard work.

3. Ask these questions on a regular basis:

  • “How is your team performing?”
  • “Is there anything I should know about?”
  • “What do YOU recommend?”
  • “Is there anything I can do to help?”
  • “What ideas do you have to help us through this tough economy?”

If you are really brave ask these:

  • “What would you do if you were me?”
  • “How can I be a better leader?

4. Once a year, give an employee satisfaction survey along with your customer satisfaction survey. You will find that if your employees are happy, your customers will be happy too. Make sure your survey includes this question:

“Would you recommend working here to someone else?”

If you don’t score high on that question in the survey, you cannot succeed. This holds true in today’s economy, where jobs are almost non-existent. If they want to leave, and are staying only for a paycheck, and not YOU, you are in trouble. It’s your people who will carry you into a successful future.

5. Be the best leader you can be. Keep in mind, you don’t automatically gain respect because you have a title. You need to EARN it. You can do this by being the type of person where people look forward to coming to work each day.

Warren Bennis once said that a boss is someone who commands others to do what needs to be done. But a leader is someone who inspires and helps people to do what needs to be done and to do it well.

The Boss
The Leader
Says, “GO!” Says, “Let’s go!”
Says: “That’s the decision” Says: “I’m not sure what the outcome of this decision will be, but we’re all going to roll up our sleeves and pull together to make it happen. And, I’ll do all I can to help you.”
Depends on authority Depends on goodwill
Pushes you to produce Pulls you by acting as a role model
Commands Communicates
Uses people Serves People
Sees what is Sees what could and should be
Focuses on what is most urgent Focuses on what is most important
Lets you know where you are Let’s you know where you could be
Works hard to achieve immediate results Works hard to achieve ultimate objectives
Seeks credit and recognition Shares credit generously
Inspires fear Inspires enthusiasm
Says, “I” Says, “We”
Blames for problems Works with others to solve problems
Drives people Grows people
Is concerned with looking good Is concerned with their team looking good
Expects high performance, but inspires people to deliver their best

Keep in mind that people work FOR a boss. They work WITH a leader.

Employee motivation, of course, involves a great deal more than being a single great leader, it involves your culture, systems, reward and recognition practices, procedures, teamwork and more. But for now, simply ask yourself this question: Would you work for you???????

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About Christine Corelli

Christine Corelli is a motivational, keynote, business, leadership, sales, and customer service speaker, sales trainer, and author of six business books. As a keynote speaker, she is known for her high energy and interactive speaking style.

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