When people discuss the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur they will often discuss attributes such as motivational, inspirational and committed, what few people fail to realize is that without one, the others cannot exist. Many owners, self-proclaimed entrepreneurs and managers, will be more than happy to berate their team, blame them for low productivity when they fail to hit the high standards that were laid out before them, failing to realize exactly why they are performing to a lower standard than expected. In the world of business there is just one single motivating factor for teams of employees which works every time, and that is being lead by example.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
The most basic principle of inspiring someone is to show them, we see this between a teacher and a student, a parent and a child, but between boss and member of staff, this is often overlooked. In simple terms, let’s say that there is a sales team who are starting the day with some huge KPIs ahead of them, the manager comes in with a simple greeting, a short meeting on what is expected and then they leave the team to do their job. Now, let’s say that the very same sales team is sat there first thing, and their manager bursts in, driven, lively, pumped up and ready to crush the KPIs, in which of the two situations does the team best perform? It is the boss who sets the pace for everyone to follow, failure to do so and the team will adopt the attitude which the boss has.
The pace of the boss is not only a key factor in motivating the staff and the team around them, it can also serve to demotivate members of the team. A highly motivated member of the sales team who is looking to hit all of her targets for example, in the first month she is buzzing with excitement to sell, in the second month, after spending time with the boss and the team, she realizes that she is the only one working at this level, and unconsciously slows things down a bit. Fast forward 4 months and this woman is running at the same speed as everyone else, bringing less sales to the company, and she has almost completely lost her passion for the job, all because the boss was at a pace far below hers.
Generally speaking we see entrepreneurs and leaders begin their job full of gusto, planning the highest possible levels of success and driving the team each day to go above and beyond. What unfortunately happens as time moves on however, is that this passion and fire will dissipate, perhaps the boss even knows it is happening, and they justify it with excuses, expecting the success to continue. What invariably happens however, is the drive and commitment of the team will move in line with that of the leader, which means that complacency kicks in, success slows and motivation is at an all-time low.
It is the boss that sets the pace for the entire business, and the effects of the passion, drive and energy that they show, will trickle down through the business and ensure higher levels of success, or higher levels of failure, depending on their actions.