The 6th Way To Really Motivate Your Team

Jon Gordon recently wrote a terrific blog post about 5 ways to really motivate. I found myself nodding my head and agreeing to each point he made. They all rang true.

And then I got to thinking. There’s a sixth way to really motivate your team.

My thought focuses on and expands Jon’s point number 3 – Share The Vision.

When your company has a vision it is important that you share the vision and share it often. You need to make sure your team knows the direction of the company and where it will end up. Otherwise they’ll lose hope and start to wander.

But, as a leader, sharing the vision is only the first step in the right direction. You need to LIVE the vision.

If you’re not living out the vision, your team will notice. They’ll become disillusioned and discouraged.

They need you to step up to the plate.

“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.”
— John Kotter

You need to model the vision for your team. Show them how it’s down.

As you model living the vision for your team, they’ll see it’s not just talk. They’ll see you mean business.

One by one, your team members will begin to step on board. Buy-in will begin to happen.

They’ll know that they’re not alone and that you’re willing to get dirty and do the tough work as well.

Your excitement and desire to see the vision fulfilled builds the motivation of those you lead.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, inspires and encourages the team like the leader joining in and taking part in the vision.

Become the leader that takes part in the battle he asks others to fight.

“Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can’t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people.”
— Lee Iacocca

Question: How do you live out the vision you have laid out for your team? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • As I read this I kept thinking of the old saying “practice what you preach”.
    People like to see action, they want to know you are invested and you truly believe what it is you want them to do.
    Great post.

    • That goes right along with my line of thought TC. Your team won’t buy in if they don’t believe you’re living what you’re saying. How do you live this principle out in your life?

      • I simply live what I believe and say what I mean… or at least try to.

    • That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking! Leaders lead by example 🙂

      • 2 great minds think alike 🙂

  • Living the vision starts with doing the jobs that no one else would want to do.  When employees see their leaders “taking out the trash”, “cleaning up the clogged toilet”, or doing other “dirty” jobs, they will get the picture of what it means to work together, to serve, and to lead towards the vision.

    • Great example Jon. Have you seen this play out in your life?

      • Sure have, Joe.  I’ve seen it in a few leaders who have gone before me, and I have a chance to put it into practice everyday with my kids at home and my team members at work.

  • i agree with you Joe, nothing motivates a team better than a leader who shows the way AND goes the way. Nothing brings down a team faster than a leader who never walks his talk. Great post

  • The first thing I always do when meeting a new team member and we have to work together…I make it a habit to do the hardest work first. That way they know when I’m asking for something I’m not just asking for something I’m not willing to give. People like to hear sermons but they love to see them! 😉

    •  I love that Mike. You’re putting yourself out there and showing that you’re willing to do what it takes to get the job done. I bet that motivates the new team member.

  • Be a living example is putting first things first.  After all Jesus was our living example!

    • That’s right Thomas. Jesus got down and dirty to help others. And that created quite the following!

  • I sit down with that person within 24hrs and walk them through the vision of the team, ask them about their goals, and also show them how they will eventually be doing the same for others.

    • Lincoln, that is awesome. It sets a high bar and shows that you’re willing to work with the team. How did you come to implement this action?

      • I noticed that people were getting lost in the shuffle and not connecting. So i had to make connections with new team members immediately so that I could make an immediate impact. So far it appears to be working.

        •  That’s an important part of leadership, noticing and taking action. Keep up the great work.

  • Vision is essential. Great points about living out the vision so others can see your words match your actions. Great post! 

    •   Thanks Dan. Glad you enjoyed the post. What other suggestions do you have for motivating your team?

      •  Giving public praise to someone who is doing a good job.

  • I agree with the importance of having and communicating a clear vision for where the organization is headed.  And as an organizational leadership coach I have seen even greater impact of this when the leader provides the ‘outline’ of his/her vision and involves the others on the leadership team to further define.  This is effective in spreading the sense of ownership to and among all of the leaders involved in the process.

    • Glad to see you’ve implemented this strategy to motivate teams and have seen great impact from it. Keep up the great work Mike.