One of the challenges faced by leaders is discovering how they can motivate others. In some of the earlier theories on leadership, it was thought that great leaders were born. The “Great Man” theory indicated that leaders could motivate all using one leadership style. In later theories we started to look more into the behaviors that work for leaders. We now know that effective leadership is contingent upon many factors.

One of the factors contingent upon motivating others is discovering what motivates them. Some people get motivated more by intrinsic factors. Recognition gives them a sense of satisfaction in their work. Others may be more motivated by extrinsic factors such as a pay increase or a better cubicle.

Here are 3 ways leaders can energize motivation and empowerment:

  1. Make personal connections – It is the responsibility of the leader to connect with people. By making a personal connection, the leader can discover what motivates people.
  2. Empower others – Leadership requires empowerment of others. Give others the power to make decisions. By doing so, you’ll not only build trust, you’ll also develop their leadership skills.
  3. Lead by example – There is nothing more disheartening than working for someone who doesn’t lead by example. Most of us have experienced this at some point. A manager dictates what everyone else should do, then he or she retreats to hiding in their office. It’s not long before people jump ship when working for a manager like this.

People get motivated when their  manager put themselves out there. When a team sees their leader down in the trenches with them, it gives everyone a lift. Developing motivation and empowerment means leading from the front, not from the back. Below is one of my favorite illustrations of leadership:


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