Inspiring and Motivating is an essential part of leadership. A pat on the shoulder, an on-the-spot recognition, a praise on a job well done resonates deeper into the human soul. We often forget that our staff and followers are humans, that require the occasional affirmation from others. It is the quintessential feeling that allows us to work as a “pack” and function as a “society”.
In sport, when the game is tied and time out is called, the coach reminds the players what is at stake – the reward that waits for the winning team that makes the effort. This is inspiring them to reach greatness by sacrificing momentary pain and putting in the maximum effort to gain the reward later.
Another way of inspiring the team as a manager is to challenge the team members with the memory of past victories, with examples of their accomplishments, contributions and sacrifices. This helps the leader to inspire them and acknowledge their contributions at the same time. The team is motivated to surpass, not others, but themselves.
Essentially, a leader will need to enthuse, excite and encourage so that the followers believe that they can do it. Motivating and inspiring is about them, not about you. It is about their qualities. It is about instilling confidence and energy that focuses their efforts in achieving results. That is essence that will imbue the followers with ownership.
The leader needs to make the follower “own” the vision. He/She needs to inspire and motivate to an extent that followers or their team accept the vision as their own vision and strive to achieve that goal. This is how self-perpetuating motivation arises.
As people become motivated, they trust, which reinforces their abilities. This affirms their actions which, in turn, motivates them.
As Malaysia matures, we will likely see a larger older population. As this generation gets older, many of them look at their approaching retirement date as a dreadful day. Many who retire do not know what to do with themselves as they are suddenly pigeon-holed as a “retiree”.
Retirement is a dreadful word for a life transition. It tells you that you are no more a productive worker, or member of the society. We need to stop this label. The Government should not dictate when a person should retire unless they wish to retire or they retire because of health reasons.
An employer should have the choice to keep the person employed after a certain age. Does it make sense that a person’s creative power fades away after a certain age? Or suddenly switched off at a certain age? Do they suddenly turn into non-functioning, non-creative human beings overnight?
I suggest Malaysia takes the first step in abolishing “retirement” altogether.
1. Let the person or the business decide when the person should or can retire. Our Prime Minister is functioning well into his 90s.
2. Let schools be an elderly education center at night. We can teach the elderly an array of skills – things they never thought they could or would learn. They have the time to explore and have fun.
3. Employ them in hospitals to help with the paper work or general upkeep.
4. Employ them in schools to help the teachers with their paperwork or even upkeeping of the schools.
5. Teach them social entrepreneurship!
These are just a few ideas. But with a bit more thought, tenacity, resolve and political will, these ideas can become a reality.
There is definitely a leadership paradigm shift in the industries today. The new generations require a new form of leadership. From the old school stability oriented, control focused, uniformed leadership to change and crisis management oriented, empowerment focused, diverse leadership. Old school heroism focusing on self centered idealism is no longer in favor with the current generation and technologies. Today, the younger generation look for humility and higher ethical purposes as signs of leadership. Do you agree?