Author: Dave Thomas
What’s the difference between a leader and a manager? What motivates a person? How do you create a winning environment? All shall be revealed below.
Leadership In The Current Climate
The usual model companies use it to spend money to make money. Studies show that money is the most frequent motivator, whatever form it may be such as stock options, incentives or promotions to name a few. The logic here being that offering up a larger sum should increase the amount comes back.
External motivation factors like money can be bad in the long term. As tangible rewards can shift perceived sense of reality for tasks from internal to external and tangible rewards slowly lose influence and effectiveness. Mainly because the person tends to develop beliefs that responsibility of results is external. This shows poor leadership.
A person cannot help but be a product of their environment, such as the different groups they belong to and the different experiences they have had in those groups. So it goes that a person develops a certain set of beliefs that are known as a ‘locus of control’ meaning the different levels of responsibility they believe they have on the events or that persons life. Someone with an internal locus of control believes that they are always able to make things happen. Conversely, a person who has an external locus of control believes that what happens to them is simply at the mercy of fate.
Both ‘internals’ and ‘externals’ will react and perform differently in situations. For example, when offered a pay rise, ‘internals’ will see it as recognition of their competence, whereas ‘externals’ will see it as sugar-coating unpleasant tasks.
Taking The Wheel
Having freedom and choice in work or giving the person more control tends to give them more feelings of controlling what happens to them or encouraging ‘internal’ tendencies. The feeling of control and responsibility from completing tasks gives intrinsic motivation. In other words doing a good job because they feel like they are responsible or somewhat in charge, instead of strictly for financial benefit. A good leader will propagate and encourage this.
Deci and Ryan of the University of Rochester, report:
“More specifically, the investigations have identified the following three general factors: (a) support for autonomy (b) noncontrolling positive feedback and (c) acknowledging the other’s perspective. These factors are critical for promoting self-determination…”
How Leaders Motivate
The traditional ‘carrot’ and ‘stick’ methods are therefore somewhat counterproductive in the long run. Many young people prefer management to form an environment that allows them to put their mark on things and be more creative by allowing them to get utility from what they do that isn’t only financial. Leadership plays a key role in forming an environment where this is possible.
Managing vs Leading
The difference between a leader and a manager is clear. Managers are focused on the short-term goals, targets and fuss over numbers, whereas leaders provide a vision and are more long-term orientated and inspire.
Drawing on his experience as a ‘revolutionary’ boss for over two decades, Welch teaches a different angle at his website:
“Managers muddle – leaders inspire. Leaders are people who inspire with clear vision of how things can be done better. What we are looking for are leaders at every level who can energize, excite and inspire rather than enervate, depress, and control.”
How Leaders Encourage Freedom Of Speech
Winning cultures need to have freedom of speech in order to have success. Often employees fear speaking up and having upfront conversations about truths. However short-term benefits of papering over the cracks and masking the truth will often lead to larger long-term consequences for all involved. People need to feel like they can talk to a leader so that issues can be addressed properly.
Welch stressed in an interview:
“… we have to get that candor into the workplace. If people [are candid] they can save so much time. They can become so much more competitive. Everything works faster and smoother. People are open, upfront. The team rallies around it.”
How Leaders Build Winning Organisations
Jack Welch says:
- Get rid of bureaucracy: harness power of people eliminating management layers
- Eliminate boundaries: empower people to reach for the impossible
- Put values first: focus less on numbers.
- Cultivate leaders: Four E’s of leadership – energy, energise, edge and execution
- Create a learning culture: free flow of communication and exchange of ideas.
The ‘Aha’ experience
That light-bulb moment comes from intuition and gut feeling. Those moments are more likely to propagate in an environment that taps into excitement, creativity and emotional intelligence rather than an environment with fixed controls and rules fixated on numbers.
Welch, in the CBS news interview, said:
“I’m probing and searching for the ‘Aha’, the big ‘Aha.’ This is the way to win…Is it a new machine? Is it a faster machine? What’s the big thing that gives you the edge? In any product, or any service you got, that’s what you search for. … More ‘Aha.'”
In other words, when people get utility from what they do, they become more invested and things start to make more sense. Aim high, set high standards and be a leader.