Friday, April 27, 2007

Volunteer for Leadership Training

In the workplace, leaders have an unfair advantage in getting their teams to follow them: Their employees want to keep their jobs. Hopefully, you aren't the kind of leader who overtly threatens your employees if they don't support your direction. Nevertheless, your employees understand that if they don't follow your leadership, they risk not satisfying you and at best limiting their career options.

On the other hand, leaders of volunteer organizations recognize that volunteers can walk out any time they feel like it. Because of this, volunteer leaders learn how to motivate their teams without the advantage of fear. Success in this arena depends on a leader's ability to understand what will motivate each team member and address those needs.

I gained many of my leadership instincts in college as the editor of our student-run yearbook. I encourage you to take a turn leading volunteers. At the very least, you contribute some of your skills to your community. You may also learn something.

Corporate leaders too easily rely on their power to drive their teams to follow them. Power certainly works, but using only power doesn't give you the hearts of your team members. If you want the hearts of your employees, you need to understand and work with what motivates them to support your vision. Getting your employee's full support is worth putting away the easier, fear-based leadership approach.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What about money motivated leadership?