Leaders create strategy, but they must rely on others to execute it.
Motivating their teams to act on the strategy requires two attributes:
1. Influence leverages the leader’s experience and credibility to persuade team members about the benefits of the strategy. Commitment to the strategy evolves as the team is encouraged to discuss why it’s necessary, and how its envisioned outcome creates value for the company and for them. This dialogue then enables action steps to be specified, needed resources to be identified, and obstacles to be exposed. It’s an analysis exercise, a matter of the head.
2. Inspiration is a matter of the heart. Most strategy involves change, and therefore, risk. The team is better able to assess the risk, and accept the challenge of it, if they know that their work is valued. By nurturing a culture of appreciation, the leader builds trust and confidence that the strategy’s projected results will make a difference for the business and the team, that it’s worthy of the team’s best effort; this generates the will to commit to the strategy.
The alignment of head and heart enables leaders to draw out the best from their teams, increasing the probability that the projected benefits will be delivered.
How do you motivate your team to execute strategy?