It happened again today. I introduced myself, said what I did, and the woman said “oooh…so you’re a motivational speaker!” Anyone who knows me, has likely heard me lovingly explain the difference between a motivational speaker and a professional speaker…but in this case, it made me think about how this applies to the role of a leader.  When you’re a leader, whether the business is small or large, profit or non, busy or slow, you’re wearing multiple hats. Sometimes you need to motivate. Sometimes you need to inspire and sometimes you just need to get in there and show ‘em how it’s done. Here’s why those three roles are incredibly important.


The more folks you have that are truly in the right job that uses their natural gifts, skills, and talents, the less of this you’ll need to do because THEY are motivated from the inside. However, some on your team may see this as a job instead of a dream and motivation will be needed. Put down the pom-poms and figure out what lights their fire. Focus more on the positive motivation rather than the use of fear and those team members will either respond or get tired of hearing your cheers and go somewhere they won’t be bothered. If their performance is really low, both responses could be a win-win.


A sister to motivation, inspiration also includes creative encouragement. Invite those you lead to participate in the exchange of ideas and brainstorming. Keep them on their toes and always looking for an even better way. It may be something that is more cost effective, or more valuable to the customer, or more efficient. Whatever it might be, part of your role is to inspire them to never settle for mediocre, unless of course you want your customers to start settling for your mediocre competitor.


On any given day, I tease the team I lead about them letting me out of the office to go and speak only when I’m really good and running the other aspects of our training and consulting firm. However, in truth, speaking is what I love, but more importantly it is a main function of our marketing strategy and if I don’t go out and get it done, some of the momentum of business slows. What is it that you’ve maybe overlooked from the comfort of being an in office task master that you might need to get up, get out, and go do to show those you lead a new way, a better way, or simply that you are still involved? They say, more than half of the battle of winning is showing up. Where do you need to show up and roll up your sleeves and engage that maybe you haven’t actually done in a while?

Clearly there’s more to leadership and in fact, in a Contagious Leadership course, we cover TEN whole steps on how to lead even better. The challenge we find is that many a manager has indeed been promoted to a position of leadership, but never prepared. If this is you or if you work with some of those, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 1-866-382-0121 and let’s look at the training or assessment program that Contagious Companies can share with you to give you the results you want and the freedom to be the best leader you can be.

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