How Great Leaders Motivate Employees to be Champions

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In order for a business to succeed in today’s economy, they need great leaders that motivate employees to be their very best. Being an employer is a competitive market these days, people are seeking more than just a steady paycheck. Advancements in technology and social networks like LinkedIn have enabled competitors to contact employees directly with job offers. If the person on top is not going out of his way to breed champions, you better be ready to deal with a high turnover of employees. A study by Accenture found that the number one reason people quit was because they didn’t like their boss. So how do leaders motivate employees to be champions? It starts with being an exceptional manager but it does not end there. In this article you will discover, the many ways great leaders motivate employees.


How Great Leaders Motivate Employees to be Champions


Empower Employees

In order for leaders to excel and have enough time to dedicate to all their responsibilities, they must rely on their employees to handle their role. This means empowering them to make decisions on their own, resolve conflicts that arise and lead others through difficult projects. A boss who always has his hand in everything may think he has a better grasp on things, but not allowing the employee to grab the bull by the horns will create a lack-luster attitude from the person leading the project. Managers must remember why they hired their employees in the first place and learn to let go if they want their employees to grow.


Recognize Achievements

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Outstanding leaders will recognize employees who are doing great things. Leaders who employees want to follow recognize achievements often and in creative ways. A sales bell hanging in the hallway won’t cut it. A company wide email congratulating a lower level employee on a recent success or an award given out quarterly to the leader of the pack in a department are ways to acknowledge your staff. Everyone wants to be recognized for their efforts and others will strive to be the next one in line for a shout out from the boss.


Measure Results not Actions

I was once told, “Your office is too clean, do you need more work?”; I took a folder and threw the papers across my desk. It turns out I am a neat freak, which has nothing to do with my work load. Every employee is unique to themselves, outstanding leaders understand this and allow everyone to be their own individual. In my article Leadership Fails – Avoid These 8 Mistakes I gave the example of a beaver building a dam. Great leaders will measure success on the strength and longevity of the damn, not how the beaver decided to build it.


Don’t Micro-Manage

Great leaders don’t micro-manage, they trust their employees and screen them thoroughly in the hiring process to let them go about their day-to-day responsibilities without interfering. A profound manager realizes that micro-managing is the biggest way to bring down great employees and drive them away, they also know when it’s time to step in or give feedback to the employee. There is a delicate balance here and if you want to breed champions, you need to let them act like champions. Make suggestions, set them on their mission and let them carry it out like a champion would.


Lead by Example

It’s easy for anyone to set rules and make demands, success starts from the top and filters down. Great leaders motivate employees to be champions because they are champions themselves. Astounding bosses create an environment of healthy competition, one where every employee seeks to be more like their fearless leader. A leader who follows the rules they’ve set and works as hard as they expect their employees to, is admired by everyone who works for them.


Earn the Respect of others

Astounding managers understand that respect is earned and is not a demand. This creates a healthy relationship between the boss and their employees, leaders who choose this path will be respected because of it. In a positive environment, employees will respect their leader and work hard for them because they choose to, not because they are required to. Champions are born and thrive in an environment of free will, and amazing managers understand that everyone has bad days where they won’t want to kiss up to the boss. The respect of a leader which is earned will be respect that lasts the test of time.


Be Flexible

A non-flexible manager is one of the top 5 reasons people quit their job. (Why do People Actually Quit Their Jobs?) Epic leaders understand that everyone of their employees has a life outside of work, even champions need to pick up their sick child from school and work from home on occasion. Great managers do not judge the employee who needs to take a day off to spend with their family or just to unwind. Allowing  employees to work at home from time-to-time and have a little freedom will make their people more appreciative of their boss and their job.


Have Fun

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Things can get tense in the workplace, with constant deadlines and a never ending workload stress levels run high. Great bosses will sense when things are getting stressful and cut the tension with a little laughter. All work and no play is not fun for anyone. Great leaders motivate employees to be champions when they create a work hard play hard atmosphere. One of the most sought after companies to work for is Google. They create a fun environment in many ways including: dogs are allowed at work, free fitness classes and on site gyms and their famous 80/20 rule, where employees spend 80% of their time on their primary responsibilities and 20% being part of a project they are passionate about. There is no doubt that Google’s leaders have figured out that an environment with a little bit of fun mixed in creates champions and promotes longevity of employees.


Be Optimistic

Every great leader will be faced with challenges, not everything is perfect in the real world. When profound leaders are faced with negative situations, they are able to squash the negativity and propel the team forward to a favorable outcome.  An amazing boss will  keep his team motivated and drive them through the hard times with an optimistic attitude. A negative or positive attitude is contagious, an exceptional manager knows this and always carries themselves with an optimistic outlook.


Follow Through

One of the key differences between good and great leaders is their commitment to following through with the things they say they will do. Nothing is more frustrating to an employee than a boss who does not stand behind what they say. Great leaders motivate employees because they are true to their word. False promises can lead to loss of respect, lowered expectations in the employees career and more turnover of key players in an organization. Whether good, bad or indifferent, a profound leader will do what they say they are going to do.

People quit their bosses, not their jobs. – Unknown

If you are the employee of a great leader you already know it. The best leader I ever worked for had all of these qualities, because of this I was motivated to be the very best me I could be. If you are in a management role and do not find yourself doing these things, it would be in your best interest to start doing them.

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