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25 Ways to Lead, Inspire and Motivate Your Team to Greatness Sitting back and focusing only on your personal goals will not benefit your team or help your brand grow.

By Jonathan Long

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


You are only as good as your team. It is your job as a leader to set the bar, inspire, and motivate your team to reach greatness.

Sitting back and focusing only on your personal goals will not benefit your team or help your brand grow. Here are 25 ways to steer your team to greatness.

Find out what they need

The only way you are going to know what your team needs from you in order to be more successful is to listen to them. Sometimes simply listening can help you to identify ways you can provide what is needed.

Be respectful

Awards and recognition are great, and some employees feed off that. But your team will perform much better when they know that they have your respect. Show respect for their hard work and dedication -- it will create a much more productive team.

Related: Move Away From Shame-Based Management to Inspire Productivity

Stop micromanaging

A true leader will step back and let his team do their jobs without standing over their shoulders. If you made the correct hiring decision, then you need to trust your team members to perform. There is no need for micromanagement -- if you made the wrong choice you need to take responsibility and correct it.


Lead by example

Your habits and leadership will rub off on your team. If you disappear for a few hours at lunch time or dip out early to play a round of golf, you aren't leading by example. You should never dip below the bar you set and expect your team to perform at.


Be personable

If your team knows they can come to you at any time with a problem, concern or suggestion and you will hear them out, then it is going to help create a well-oiled machine.

Stress your company's purpose

Setting goals and crushing them with record-breaking revenue numbers is always great, but you can also inspire your team by enforcing what your company's purpose is. Every successful product or service solves a problem -- remind your team that all of their hard work really makes a difference -- beyond just the dollar signs.

Follow through on promises

If you don't plan on doing something, then don't mention it. When you do what you say you will do, you will earn the respect of your team. Developing a reputation for following through establishes you as a respected leader.

Be decisive

When it comes time to make a decision you have to take a play out of Nike's book and "just do it." Your growth and success is dependant upon action. Procrastination will slow you down. If you demonstrate decisive actions your team will develop the same decision-making skills.

Show emotion

Nobody wants to be led by an emotionless robot. Let your emotions shine -- smile, laugh and have fun with your team. Even the most routine task can be viewed with value when we are in a good mood. Positive emotions also encourage outside-the-box problem solving.

Help employees reach their potential

If you never push your team, they will remain stagnant. Sure, the work will get done, but don't expect to experience excitement and growth without encouraging them to operate out of their traditional comfort zone. You want to achieve excellence and not mediocrity, right?

Admit when you don't have the answer

You are not going to have the answer for everything, and that is perfectly fine. Instead of pretending to have the answer, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate effective problem solving to your team.

Don't lead with fear

Your team will not be inspired if you use fear as a motivator. Great leaders coach and teach their team -- they are right there with them -- not on the sidelines screaming and instilling fear.

Develop future leaders from within

As your brand grows you will need additional leaders to step up. Give every member of your team the ability to move into those roles by empowering them to make decisions, both right and wrong. This decision-making training prepares them to set up to the plate when they are needed.

Related: 4 Ways to Help Employees Set Better Goals

Encourage personal growth

Successful leaders encourage personal growth and mentor their team. Give your team members books about success and business to read and encourage them to attend business networking events. Make suggestions that will enrich their own personal development outside of your organization.


Help people learn from their mistakes

If a team member screws up, don't simply point it out and not offer a solution to avoid making the mistake in the future. Explain what they did wrong and what they can do to improve in order to not make the same mistake again.

Hold your team accountable

Accountability makes your team feel like they are personally invested in the success of the company -- when they see what needs to get accomplished they will do what is needed to reach specific goals, even if it means navigating around a potential obstacle.

Be curious

How will you ever know if your team is happy if you don't ask them? How will you know if your team has suggestions that would benefit the company unless you ask them? Doing this gives you valuable information and also gives your team the confidence to follow your lead and ask questions as well.

Always be learning

You could be the most motivationally inspiring person in the world, but if you lack knowledge you lack credibility. So make sure that you are always taking time to read up on your industry and competition. If your team sees that you are engaged and sharing what you have learned, that will inspire their confidence in you.

Be flexible

Not every person on your team is going to have the same personality. You need to be flexible in how you lead each individual. Some will require a little more handholding than others while some will excel when they are given more independence.

Understand your purpose

As a leader you have a large weight on your shoulders -- your company and your team depend on you. When you fully understand your purpose and role, it breeds confidence, which is very contagious and creates an incredibly confident team.

Get your employees involved

Your team wants to be involved with your company's growth and innovation. Welcome and encourage them to roll up their sleeves and get involved. When they feel like they are part of the future it inspires them to be more productive. Not only does this help the company, but it also prepares them for a more meaningful role in the future.

Get to know your team

When you are with your team make sure that you spend some time getting to know them. You will have a much more productive team if they know that you genuinely care about them and have their best interests in mind.

Be transparent

A transparent leader not only allows his or her team to see who they really are, but that openness also leads to better problem-solving and an establishment of a stronger level of trust among colleagues.

Hold brainstorming sessions

Keep your mind, as well as the minds of your entire team, fresh by holding frequent brainstorming sessions. This inspires and motivates your team to be constantly thinking of new, innovative ideas.

Be accessible

Part of being a leader involves being there for your team. If they have a question or need your advice, make sure that you make it easy for them to access you. With mobile email and cell phones there is no reason your team shouldn't be able to get in touch with you when they need to. But also remember establish time for when you and the team can unplug. Always being on call can lead to burn out, and you want to make sure your employees are healthy and engaged.

Do you have any tips to add? Please share them with your fellow entrepreneurs in the comments section below.

Related: The 2 Most Powerful Words a Manager Can Use

Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

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