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Whose Job IS It Anyway?

by Christine Corelli

"Who's job is it to keep you motivated?"

When I ask this question to employee groups, you might think the responses I receive most often are "My job. It's MY job to keep myself motivated." 

If you think that's correct, you are mistaken.  The response I receive most often is, "It's my BOSS'S job." 

Surprised?  Don't be. Motivation does come from within, but it's always up to management to maintain employee morale.  This is not an easy task in an era where job-cuts, layoffs, downsizing and restructuring are the norm for many organizations  But dynamic leadership and employees who are committed to their job is what is required to help carry your organization into a better future. The key to motivating people is to keep them in the RIGHT FRAME OF MIND-by making them feel they are working WITH you, not FOR you.

Businesses must recognize that it's not only smart decision making on the part of their executives, but it's their human capital who holds the key to sustainable, long-term growth. Within them lie solutions to problems, methods to improve productivity, creative ideas to improve products and service, and insight on what management needs to do to help the company move forward in difficult times. That assumes, of course, that leaders know how to motivate and inspire employees to not only bring these ideas to them, but deliver their best performance through good times and bad.

Can you GIVE someone motivation?  I don't believe you can. It's something a person has inside them, or they don't. Whether you manage a department, a sales force, oversee a division, lead a company, run a family business or wish to have a leadership position in the future, here is an essential and simplistic leadership principle to follow: The key to motivating people is to keep people in the RIGHT FRAME OF MIND-by making them feel they are working WITH you, not FOR you. If they feel they are working FOR you, your work force may resemble robots who go through the motions of their job and never put their heart and soul into their work, nor show initiative beyond their job description.

You can accomplish this by being a great person to work WITH, and by consistently doing the things which build relationships--expressing appreciation, encouraging, listening, asking for ideas, informal and formal rewards, etc., and by not trying to exercise control. This allows people, of their own free will, to flow in a direction that leads them to cooperate with you-something all companies need to survive through this tough economy. 

It may be helpful to you to understand and internalize the difference between a LEADER and a BOSS. Here is food for thought. . .

A BOSS is getting people to do what needs to be done. 
A LEADER is one who gets people to WANT to do what needs to be done.

The BOSS:  Says, "GO!"      
The LEADER:  "Let's go"  

The BOSS:  Depends on authority
The LEADER:  Depends on goodwill

The BOSS:  Pushes     
The LEADER:  Pulls

The BOSS: Commands     
The LEADER:  Communicates

The BOSS:  Uses people 
The LEADER:  Develops people

The BOSS:  Sees today
The LEADER:  Keeps a solid eye on the future

The BOSS: Never has time 
The LEADER:  Makes time for important things

The BOSS:  Lets you know where they stand
The LEADER:  Lets you know how you stand

The BOSS:  Works hard to produce
The LEADER:  Works hard to help their people produce

The BOSS:  Accepts the credit     
The LEADER:  Gives their people the credit

The BOSS:  Inspires fear 
The LEADER:  Inspires enthusiasm

The BOSS:  Says, "I"     
The LEADER:  Says, "We"

The BOSS:  Blames for problems     
The LEADER:  Helps people solve problems

The BOSS: Drives people
The LEADER:  Builds people

The BOSS:  Is concerned with looking good
The LEADER:  Is concerned with their team

The BOSS:  Says, "Here's the bad news"
The LEADER:  Says, "I'd like to be able to tell you everyone will keep their job,
but unfortunately I can't. I will tell you that I'll do everything possible to make
sure we can keep as many jobs
as possible."

The BOSS:  Says, "That's the decision."     
The LEADER:  Says, "I'm not sure it'll be a good decision either, but we're all
going to roll up our sleeves and do our best to make it work. And I'll be here
to help you every step of the way."

The BOSS:  Expects top performance
The LEADER:  Expects, Inspires, appreciates and challenges people toward it        

Keep in mind, the Number One cause for job dissatisfaction in America today is working for a bad boss. People work FOR a boss. They work WITH a leader. 

Recently, a client told me, "If my boss ever leaves, I want to go with him. He is absolutely the best person I've ever worked with."

Employee motivation, of course, involves a great deal more than being a single great leader, it involves the company's culture, systems, procedures, and more. But for right now, simply ask yourself. . .

Would you work for you?

Christine Corelli is a leadership expert who works with business executives, managers and supervisors using creativity and innovation to outdistance their current and future competitors and build winning teams who are customer focused and company loyal.  Christine is the author of "Wake Up and Smell the Competition - They're Closer Than You Think", a business consultant and professional speaker, presenting keynotes and workshops at meetings and conventions around the world.  For information on Christine's programs call  352-438-0261 mailto:[email protected]   ExpertMagazine.com 2001

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