Great leaders inspire and empower others. They inspire members of their team by nurturing curiosity and intrinsic motivation. They empower members of their team by giving them a voice, sharing in the decision-making process, and promoting the idea that there are often multiple “right” answers.
The culture of the organization also plays an important part in the ways team members are empowered and inspired. A culture that encourages and rewards creative thinking and is rooted in a collective purpose, or shared commitments, is far more likely to maximize team member motivation than the alternative.
There are three other “conditions” leaders can establish that make it more likely team members would feel inspired and empowered every day. Those three conditions are:
- team members feel connected to one another;
- team members feel that their work is aligned with their purpose; and
- team members have something to look forward to each day.
Team members feel connected to one another when positive, trusting relationships exist. Leaders can nurture connectedness by earning and giving trust themselves, by demonstrating vulnerability, continually observing group or team dynamics, and orchestrating collaboration.
Team members feel that their work is aligned with their purpose when leaders make a space for them to talk about their purpose with one another, encourage team members to incorporate their unique skills and interests into their work, and celebrate when team members’ purpose intersects with their work.
Finally, team members will have something to look forward to each day when the leader treats the work environment like a learning environment. Leaders can do this by ensuring team members have a sense of psychological safety, have opportunities to share ideas and contribute in ways that tap into their strengths, and have the opportunity to learn something every day. And this doesn’t even have to be overly complex–the simple act of asking team members to share an idea on a topic can be like a catalyst, promoting continuous learning, collaboration, and connectedness.