How to Motivate Your Team to Want to Work for You
The hierarchy of a corporate organization can be a seductive thing, especially if you’re higher up in it. Because I am this therefore I get to do that. If you have paid your dues on the way up, it may well be that you understudied one or more supervisors who always seized the spotlight, attended the big meeting, enforced their agenda. Because they could. Because their job title or rank said so.
A better way is to have and demonstrate the self-confidence to share these opportunities with others who are still on their way up but are willing to take chances that challenge them and accelerate their learning curve. Not only does it help them, it reflects well on you as a supervisor and motivates people to want to work for you.
For example, not everyone relishes a public speaking engagement, even at the highest levels of a corporation. And there are certain audiences, e.g., the media or the financial community, where every time you open your mouth in their direction you’re taking an element of risk.
If you have someone on your team who wants to take a chance and step forward in these types of environments, look for opportunities for them that they will be able to handle well. Find out for their benefit and for yours if they deliver the appropriate messages and have presence/charisma that makes the audience respond.
If you discover that you indeed have a team member who can expand your company’s capacity to present itself well on stage, to be confidence inspiring on camera or to be convincing during a sit down interview by a journalist, you have just uncovered a valuable corporate asset.
It should go without saying that when a person or a team of people have contributed a novel idea or an illuminating analysis or a critical competitive insight, give credit where credit is due. But it’s actually not that unusual to hear about a manager who goes to some lengths to hide the provenance of such good work under the theory that giving proper credit will take away from their own capability or importance.
Even early in your managerial career, be the one who sends clear signals to your team that you will advance the interests of team members to develop their skills and talents and will bring people to the fore whenever it makes sense. You are preparing both your teammates and yourself for additional success.