Learn how to motivate your team

Lee Jackson | September 20, 2016

Guess what? I never went to Entrepreneur school. I have literally no certificates in how to be a Boss, a Manager or a Team Leader! And yet I’ve grown into that position over the years, and it is an absolute privilege.

I started out as just me, and as the business grew we took on freelancers, contractors and full time staff. I had a whole new challenge. Sure I can motivate myself, but how do I motivate my team?

How do you learn to motivate your growing team? Especially as every team is different with a different dynamic of people. Each industry has unique demands and expectations. No business is the same…

Here is how I began to learn the leadership skills I needed to motivate, encourage and empower my team. The hope is my journey and thought process helps you discover your leadership potential. Become the leader that is motivated, and motivates.

Looking back

As I look back at my past of being an employee I was able to recognise many key events in my life where my manager or boss at the time made me feel like total crap and my motivation took a huge knock. This gave me an instant list of, “things not to do” as a manager. They included:

  • Micro managing
  • Lack of trust
  • Disinterest
  • Unreasonable expectations
  • Lack of support

So, turning a positive into a negative I instantly had the beginnings of a blue print of how to become a better leader.

  • Don’t get in the way
  • Trust your team
  • Show interest and encourage
  • Set realistic achievable goals
  • Support and serve your team

Look back at what did and didn’t motivate you over your years in your industry and start to build up your own blueprint. I bet it will be similar to mine 🙂

Looking at others

One of my mentors is Walt Disney.

Walt Disney managed hundreds of people to consistently create magic to the extent that his legacy lives on the Walt Disney Corporation.

The best way of learning about him has been to read books on him and watch the many documentaries on how he built his dreams. The team of imagineers he created still create magic to this day! It is SO inspiring, and I learn so much from him. Remember, no one is perfect, and I have even picked up on a few Walt Disney traits I do NOT want to emulate. For example, he had a habit of cutting people down with words in front of other team members. He mellowed over the years, but certainly not an endearing quality!

So start listening to those that inspire you. Learn from their advice and their journeys.

Also be sure to check out my post: “How to move from intention to action” where I talk about being inspired by those that have gone before us.

Look to the future

Continuing from looking at Walt Disney, one thing we can learn is the fact he saw the future and he had the amazing ability to share that future with his team. They were able to see the goal, be inspired and capture the joint vision.

One of my favourite stories is this:

When Disney World opened in 1971, his wife was asked; “Isn’t it a shame that Walt didn’t live to see this?”

Her reply was; “He did see it, that’s why it’s here.”

A motivating leader can see the future, and they can communicate that vision those around them. A shared vision is so powerful. Put it this way… put a group of builders in a field with no architect plans… don’t expect a house.

So what IS your vision. What IS your goal?

To learn how to motivate, needs that missing ingredients…

  • the MAGIC of vision
  • the INSPIRATION of story telling

Discover your future vision, and tell it’s story to your team.

Nutshell

So to confess, I am still learning, and have not yet “perfected” my leadership style. It is an exciting journey as I have have made friends with the guys, and we have evolved our future story together. We haven’t killed each other yet, and we all seem to get on so well 🙂

As you grow then, remember these key points of the journey

  • Learn from your past
  • Look out to others (including your team)
  • Look forward, tell your story

What lessons have you learned along the way? What advice do you have? Share in the comments below.

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Lee Jackson

Lee lead’s two digital businesses providing powerful WordPress solutions for personal brands, design agencies and event companies.

Lee’s core business is creating WordPress themes from designs supplied by designers and agencies around the world allowing them to do what they enjoy most, whilst he and his team get to geek out on WordPress!

He is the host of The Agency Trailblazer Podcast, which focuses on agency life and growing a successful business. He compliments this with a paid community focused on helping stressed out design/web agency owners fall in love with their businesses again. No 10x BS, just practical advice and support to help people undo bad decisions and create an agency they can love that supports the lifestyle they need.

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