Recap – In Part one I used the analogy of getting a horse to follow you, using a ‘lead-rope’ to get the horse to follow you, to show that leaders show the way, by being the first to head in a certain direction and having others follow behind.
So, given that lead ropes are not considered acceptable in workplaces and as I mentioned the traditional ‘carrot and stick’ options do not fit the model of leading, we need to find other means to get people to come with us on the journey.
I offer the following (incomplete) list on how to coax people to come along on your journey with you, willingly;
- Using the book title of Simon Sinek, great leaders ‘Start With Why’. As human beings we all want purpose in life. Some individuals are very conscious of our beliefs, values and passions… other people, not so much. Either way, if an organization’s leadership is crystal clear about the company’s direction and values, AND the leaders portray those values day in and day out – then people who share those passions will naturally be attracted to that company (and those not passionate about that purpose will be repelled).
So what is your ‘Why’? What is your organization’s why? If I could give you one piece of homework, answering this question would be it! And remember, the answer is not ‘make money’, as Sinek states, that is just a byproduct – a result – of the ‘what’ you do. (If your ‘why’ is truly to make money, expect to be surrounded by people with the same motivation – and be ready for the consequences of such driving behaviors)
- The second item on my list could be a sub-paragraph of 1. However ‘values’ warrant their own section. Values are not the list that after a corporate retreat got painted on the walls and shouted about on the company website because they sound good. I’m talking about the values that are exemplified by the behavior of the leadership – because actions speak louder than words. Much like with purpose – a leader will naturally attract those with similar values and repel those with different values. Acknowledge your true values and live them authentically and unapologetically, for this is your company’s culture. Be the leader your team needs and wants and also remember the saying “culture is the behavior that the organization tolerates” (we will address leaning in to healthy conflict another time).
- Another closely linked behavior to ‘Start with Why’ (see how important that is?), is to facilitate your team members individual ‘Why’s. I mentioned how organizations will attract and repel those that support the company ‘why’, but that doesn’t have to be the individual’s ‘why’. Allow me to indulge myself, by using my own ‘Why’ as an example. My ‘why’ is “to facilitate my immediate family reaching self-actualization”. This will have little to do with my organization’s ‘why’. However, as long as my organization fits with my core values and truly cares about facilitating me reaching MY ‘why’, they will maintain my loyalty. (Of course, I must also be passionate about the company’s ‘why’ too)
I could add; build trust, lean into conflict and many other traits that make a great leader, but LL’s ‘why’ would be put at risk if I try to get too exhaustive in my list. (Our ‘why’ involves keeping the content brief, to make it fit with your schedule, among other things)
Now, please help me and our readers complete the list – comment on the blog to add your thoughts and share your perspective on how to get people to follow.
I would also be eternally grateful to those who have time to share this post, to help build the LL community.