500 Million Minus 1 – The One Thing Leaders Need Most

December 17, 2019

This post offers leaders, at all levels, tips and tools for enhancing leadership effectiveness and maximizing employee motivation and engagement. 

Two Simple Truths

We’ve learned that managers who know their people well, including what’s most meaningful to them, have great success developing those people to perform optimally. 

Another important fact is this; the people supported by managers are the best experts for improving the leadership practice of those managers. Employees have front-row seats – they experience it first-hand, making them the absolute best source for feedback on leadership quality.

Better Engagement, Performance and Leadership

Few people would disagree with the above points; employees are experts on what motivates and is most meaningful to them and, they know the type of leadership qualities they prefer most. 

Research demonstrates, more and more, that quality leadership has a positive and profound impact on employee motivation, engagement and overall performance – they are inextricably linked. 

It should follow then, that the employee’s experience is the most important resource for improving engagement, motivation and performance and simultaneously, for enhancing the leadership capacity of their managers. 

The “Experts”

If we agree with the above, there is something very important we should consider.  

Too often managers search almost everywhere and, seek everyone else but their people, to “learn” how-to motivate and manage employee performance. In addition to this, most leaders have been taught and are encouraged to seek out experts and various “gurus” to learn about improving leadership quality and effectiveness.

When we stop to think about this, it really doesn’t make the most sense. 

An Important Reality: 

On any given day, if we Google these two searches, “Improve Leadership” and “Improve Employee Engagement”, we will find more than 500,000,000 results. Yes, 500 MILLION.

An Important Question:

How many of those articles, papers, posts or presentations are written by the people we’re responsible for; our team members; our employees?

  • How many of your team members have produced or presented the inspiring leadership videos you’ve reviewed?
  • How many of your employees have been the “expert” who facilitated the leadership or performance training you’ve attended?
  • How many of the articles/books on improving motivation, engagement or performance have been written by the people that work with/for you?

The 500 million results are missing the most important resource of them all; your employee’s story. 

It’s important to note that there are many helpful articles, books, videos and seminars out there; indeed, some are exceptionally valuable. However, there is no one perspective that is more important or as accurate, than that of your employee’s story.

It is why we endorse all perspectives and approaches that encourage Leaders, first and foremost; “Get to know your people and find out what matters most to them”.

Go to the Source 

Our ability to successfully develop and influence others is directly proportional to a clear and accurate understanding of their story; something we refer to as the employee’s CORE 4 (Needs, Values, Goals and Strengths).

An employee’s CORE 4 holds the details of their experience and the meaning those experiences have for them. 

Tips and Tools

Tips for Better

The following tips have helped many leaders learn about the “most meaningful” aspects of their peoples’ experience.

1. Observe “Better” with Your People.

Where are they doing better? Where and when are they engaged, and performing well? Ask them,

  • What is happening in those times?
  • What things and what people are contributing to those positive moments?

2. Be Curious about Most Meaningful.

Prior to seeking an article or guru, check with your people; be curious about what’s meaningful to them. Try the following questions:

  • What aspect of your work are you the most excited about?
  • What aspect of your work do you find the most rewarding?
  • Who do you like to interact with the most and why?
  • Where do you feel, you succeed the most at work?
  • What is one thing that you worry about?
  • What are you the most excited about, outside of work?
  • How can I help you succeed at work?

3. Learn about Leadership-Preferences.

Be curious and inquire about their leadership preferences. You may not be able to accommodate all preferred leadership qualities; however, you may learn a little about what leadership behaviors are helpful and do-able. Try Asking:

  • Can you tell me about the best supervisor/manager you had in the past? What made them so great? 
  • Can you tell me about past supervisor/manager behaviors that you found were not helpful for you?

Tools for Better

We know that leaders want better for themselves and others; that is why we’ve built tools and strategies to empower and support their success. 

  • The CORE Leader Score (CLS)

The CLS is simple, accurate and efficient; a strengths-based and values- centered tool for assessing and developing quality leadership capacity. Learn more about the CLS here.

  • The M3 Tool

M(Most Meaningful Measures) offers leaders, their people and the entire organization valuable insights into the most meaningful aspects of the employee’s work, their team and the company overall. Learn more about the M3 Tool here.

  • The CORE Leader Score Plus (CLS+), 

The CLS+ combines the potencies of The CORE Leader Score (CLS) with Brivia’s M3 approach to meaning-measurement. Learn more about the CLS + here.

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