“Our people are our most important asset.” How often do we see this trotted out on the cover of Annual Reports – and how rarely do we see it actually being put into practice? Of course it is true, no company can survive, let alone thrive, without its people. Your people are also the best source of future management and leadership and, whilst it is important at times to bring in new ideas and innovation, it is much better to develop talent from within. As a leader one of your most important responsibilities is to help nurture talent, to develop the leaders of the future and bring out the best in all those that report to you.
Motivation is a very complex subject and it is also one of the most important tasks that you, as a leader, will have. People are motivated in many differing ways, and not only by money! In fact as Frederick Herzberg identified in his book ‘The Motivation to Work’, written based on the results of studies he conducted in 1959, financial reward does not even feature as one of the five motivational factors. Your job as a leader is to understand what it is that motivates your people and then provide it.
How much of your valuable time, and that of your people, is taken up moving between and attending meetings, many of which produce little or no value? Sometimes there’s a real need to bring people together in one room to discuss and debate; however, most people consider meetings to be boring, demoralising and meaningless! Bringing people together for a meeting means removing people from their work, sometimes even necessitating travel just to attend.