You manage a group of employees or subordinates. As their manager, you believe that they look to you for motivation, leadership, direction. So when the group isn't motivated, and isn't performing as they should, is it your fault as manager? Is their performance (or lack thereof) a reflection of your leadership skills? You may begin sweating when your manager begins to question your team's acivities.
As a leader, you are a part of the team, not set apart from the team. Team performance is a dynamic that is influenced by not just the leader, but other factors including individual capabilties, performance of the entire company, will power of the team members, and yes, your ability to inspire.
Each team is unique, and so motivating a team has to be analyzed team by team. There is no 'one size fits all' with team building. First of all, motivation comes from within, so if your team members are not inspired to reach their goals, then all the motivation you try to give isn't going to amount to much. Maybe the team members don't believe that you have the authority to deliver on the promises you've given as inspiration (raises, bonuses, visibility). In this case, they won't be motivated to achieve what they feel they won't obtain. It's possible that the inspiration you've given isn't motivating to them at all. For instance, their inspiration is that your team will be the talk of the trade show for your development of a certain product, but what will the individuals really get out of it? Fifteen minutes of fame? What they really wanted was a big bonus.
In order to have a motivated team, you have to determine what motivates each member, and try to piece together a stragegy of inspiring each of them on a personal level to be motivated to achieve your desired goals. If the 'fifteen minutes of fame' we mentioned as motivation will lead to certain monetary gains for your team at some point, then point that out. Give them reason to believe that achieving your desired goals for your team will result in achievement of each team member's goals. Now you've provided the inspiration to motivate your team members. The motivation will come from within each member.
Keep in mind that motivation is contagious, but so is the lack of motivation. You have to be the first one 'infected' with motivation. Keep at it, infect your team with their own motivation, keep planting the seeds of inspiration. You will notice a snowball effect as your effectiveness as a leader grows with each team members' motivation.
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