Kevin Gaskell PhotoDespite all the management guru speak and various models of personal motivation I don’t believe you can motivate someone else.  Business leaders often ask me “How do I motivate my team to …” They’re usually taken aback when I tell them that they can’t!

You can’t motivate someone else because motivation comes from within.  The leader’s job is to inspire people to contribute their creativity and talent.  Inspiration creates the environment for motivation to develop – the ‘want to’.

When people want to make a difference and are invited to do so, that’s when the magic happens.  People who are working in an environment that inspires them and who have been invited to step up to the challenge of achieving positive change become high performers.

So, what is the corporate leader’s role?  Corporate transformation is based on inclusion.  People who are involved become so much more committed. If everyone in the organisation feels inspired, involved and invited to take action, the organisation will be revitalised.

The role of the leader is to create the excitement around the challenge, to embrace the team members and stimulate their creativity.  Most people want to do a good job – and be recognised for doing it – giving them the opportunity to make a difference and see the results they can achieve is the jumping off point for a really high performing team.

Empowerment and trust are strong words which lead to stronger actions; “Give me a challenge, make it fun by showing me what success looks like and then let me explore ways (good, bad, crazy, inspired) to find what is possible and you will be surprised by the creativity we have in the team”.

So where should corporate leaders start their transformation process?  Start at the end and work backwards. Illuminate the opportunity, shine a light on a clear picture of an exciting future and then quietly stand to one side and let the team create the new way. You will inspire, they will achieve.