In the pursuit of exceptional results, mere completion of tasks falls short of reaching our highest potential.
As leaders, we want to inspire the best in our teams and from our teams. Getting exceptional results can be challenging, especially when team members are lacking the intrinsic motivation to perform at their best.
In his revolutionary book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek states,
“Great leaders…are able to inspire people to act. Those who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external incentive or benefit to be gained.” - Simon Sinek
In other words, moving people into action is inspiring them by connecting with their personal motivation and commitment.
To unlock the extraordinary, we must tap into the personal motivation and commitment of team members. This requires us to connect with team members purpose drivers. The coupling of their purpose drivers, or their “why”, with the vision or objective, ignites a flow of drive that leads to exceptional results.
In this blog post, we explore the transformative leadership approach of Nehemiah, drawing lessons from his remarkable journey to rally a team around a vision. Nehemiah's approach to restoring the dilapidated wall of Jerusalem not only tackled the physical task but also addressed the deeper issues of the people's shame and disgrace.
Let's delve into the strategies Nehemiah employed to connect his team members to the vision and achieve remarkable outcomes. These three key steps unlock personal motivation and inspire achievement of exceptional outcomes.
Nehemiah understood that true motivation comes from connecting with a higher purpose. He effectively communicated why the work mattered, emphasizing the significance of protecting their city, families, and restoring dignity to Jerusalem. The people connected the tangible impact their efforts would have on their immediate surroundings and the community at large. By helping them to see what was really at stake in the work, the restoration project became more than just a physical endeavor. It became an opportunity to rebuild their lives and regain their dignity. That was a powerful why and driver for the people.
Similarly, with our team members, we have to explore the ways in which they can align their personal drivers to the objective of the company.
As leaders, how often are we asking our team members to share with us why getting the work done is important to them? Asking these types of questions can help them to connect to their why more frequently and inspire them to serve from their best effort.
Building upon personal commitment, Nehemiah ensured that each team member felt a deep sense of ownership by personalizing their involvement in the project. Assigning tasks related to the location of their homes allowed them to visualize the direct impact on their loved ones and created a stronger bond with the mission at hand.
In today’s workplace, this can be achieved by aligning tasks with team member’s areas of strengths. Studies have proven that this fosters engagement and empowers them to make meaningful impacts.
Nehemiah's exceptional leadership extended beyond the vision itself. As the people diligently worked on rebuilding the wall, he recognized the importance of addressing their specific needs, particularly their provision for their families. By genuinely caring for their well-being, Nehemiah lifted morale and fueled motivation.
Creating a culture of care and support fulfills a fundamental human need and builds trust and belonging. When team members feel valued and appreciated, they willingly go above and beyond their responsibilities, resulting in increased engagement and dedication to the shared vision.
As authors Ashley Reichheld and Amelia Dunlop state in their book, The Four Factors of Trust, trust
“Creates the types of relationships we want to build, the type of organizations we want to belong to, and the type of world we want to live in.” - Ashley Reichheld and Amelia Dunlop
Leadership and Organizational Health Expert, Patrick Lencioni, identifies trust as a foundational element in building functional teams with The Five Behaviors model.
When team members feel cared for by their leader, a positive cycle begins. They are more likely to go above and beyond their responsibilities, knowing that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. This, in turn, leads to increased morale, engagement, and dedication to the shared vision where individuals are motivated to excel.
Nehemiah's leadership exemplifies the transformative results that can be achieved when team members are genuinely connected to a vision. By addressing deeper issues, emphasizing meaningful causes, and personalizing the mission, Nehemiah inspired his team to surpass expectations.
As leaders, let us learn from Nehemiah's example and strive to connect our teams to a shared purpose, unlocking their potential and elevating morale that ultimately contributes to the exceptional output of the team as a whole.
If you need help to unleash the extraordinary potential of your teams and tapping into their exceptional power, click here to contact me today! Let's ignite success together!
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