Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Completing delegated tasks, and achieving assigned goals, in accordance with expected behaviors defines acceptable performance by a competent employee.

But when that person digs deeper, investing extra time and energy to make something better for a customer or the business, we recognize this as discretionary effort that reveals exceptional performance.

If improving results is the prime directive for leadership, then a leader’s competency largely depends on the ability to influence and inspire people to risk change and follow the leader in making something better.

So, no leader can succeed without cultivating and appreciating discretionary effort. Because results cannot be improved without people who will contribute extra effort to change something which can deliver those better outcomes.

And these change initiatives render more than improve results. They validate a leader’s credibility, while providing the investors of extra effort with opportunities to resolve challenges that are strategic, future-based and larger than themselves, thus increasing their experience, confidence and self-worth. Both leaders and team members are offered the chance to be exceptional contributors to their organization’s success.

How do you motivate discretionary effort?