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11 Keys to Motivating, Managing, and Inspiring Your Employees

Colleen Kettenhofen asked:

Ultimately, your employees will do what they see you doing.

In this difficult economy, leadership excellence is more important than ever. The business environment is more competitive. Employees, business owners, managers and supervisors must perform at top capacity and produce maximum results.

What are the core competencies necessary for being an effective leader? And for keeping your employees motivated and productive?

1. Effective leaders are listeners. It’s not enough to give orders. Effective leaders must let their employees do some of the talking so they feel valued and respected. Even if that means some healthy venting within reason. Especially in organizations where there are layoffs and low morale.

2. Effective leadership means keeping an open-mind. In this economy, being a more powerful leader requires flexibility and maintaining an openness to change and new ideas. Even if you don’t always agree with someone.

3. Effective leaders have vision. Great managers, supervisors and team leaders possess the ability to see their organization’s long and short term goals and objectives. They understand where their company plans to be one year from now. And working backwards, understand where they need to be nine months from now, six months from now, and so on.

4. Effective leadership requires clearly communicating that vision. It’s one thing for a person in a leadership role to have vision for the future and the direction they want to take their employees. But it’s even more important that as an effective leader, they can clearly communicate and get their message across. Put simply, powerful leaders are often powerful orators.

5. Effective leaders are inspirational and motivational. I’m not referring to someone who has their head in the clouds. But rather a leader who has truly discovered specific, individual techniques for motivating their employees toward peak performance.

6. Effective leaders set high expectations and produce bottom-line results. The best managers know what motivates each employee. They instill confidence, put reward programs in place, and motivate team members to exceed expectations.

7. Effective leaders are educated on the day-to-day aspects of each employee’s job. In my leadership programs, participants tell me that their best manager ever was one who could “speak the language.In other words,the leader had true comprehension of the employee’s job, time constraints, problems and challenges. In many cases, the best managers have often done the job themselves.

8. Effective leadership requires transparency, honesty and accountability. This has never been more apparent than it is today! According to research, the number one trait people want to see to willingly WANT to follow their leader is honesty. A leader can be intelligent, have vision, a plan of action, and be a great orator. But if people don’t trust that person, it’s difficult to get them on board. Ultimately, the leader just has the title not the influence or respect.

9. So effective leaders must have influence. The real test of leadership is how much influence you have over your people.

10. Effective leaders give credit where credit is due. They are secure enough in themselves to give honest sincere recognition to those who deserve it.

11. Lastly, when I ask my participants what qualities they want to see in their leaders, overhwelmingly a word often mentioned is “straightforward.” They say that even if it’s bad news, they’d rather the leader be straightforward. Which…goes back to honesty.

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