Lots of leadership books and speakers talk about what you need to be doing as a leader. Inspiration, influence, and impact showing care, candor, character, and competence. But, what does your team want out of their opportunity and how can you support it?
Human beings are strange and complex. These six expectations every team member is looking for when they come to work demonstrate that complexity.
Certainty – Everyone needs to know that the sun is going to rise tomorrow and that the doors of the business will be open. Base level requirements for everyone is the ability to rely on some things being certain and reliable. Without base level certainty, anarchy erupts.
Uncertainty – Yep, we all also need an element of uncertainty in our lives. Will I have the opportunity to lead that project? How will the prospect react to the sales scripts I have been practicing? How will the boss react to my idea for change in my department? There must be some level of uncertainty to create the excitement that keeps people motivated. Some jobs can get monotonous. When in doubt, create a little uncertainty and watch the team spring back to life.
Significance – An extremely important need within us all that is often defined by our professional lives is our significance to others and influence in our department, company, community, and the world at large. Feedback clarifies each individual’s significance in their world and providing regular praise to those who work with, above, and below reminds every one of their significance and supports a positive outlook. Team members that are feeling insignificant will often resort to gossip and uncooperative competition with other team members.
Connection – Regardless of an individual’s MBTI or DISC personality profile, humans need connection to other people. Some introverts may prefer a small number of deep connections while others a wide range of many connections. But maintaining a connection with those you work with and those you serve is essential to maintaining a connection with “why” we all do what we do.
Growth – This need cannot be stressed enough and it is often the most ignored. Inspiration and passion directly stem from curiosity and personal growth. Not only must a leader demonstrate personal growth, but also provide opportunities for team members to learn and grow in areas they have strengths or curiosity. Many of the most productive and inspiring leaders are lifelong “learners” and your business growth can be heavily dependent on the personal growth of the team.
Contribution – Few things feel better and are more motivating than taking a step back and saying “I did that”. When I was younger, every fall my father would purchase and have me “stack” what felt like endless cords of firewood. But when I was done and could see the long rows of perfectly stacked firewood, I felt accomplished and that my contribution to the family was visible. In our highly evolving and fast paced digital world it is easy to lose sight of the big picture contribution. Discovering ways to make those contributions visible will pay long term dividends.