Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Leadership for Drones, Mercenaries or Partners

A leader leads by example, not by force. 
Sun Tzu

"Leadership is not something you take, it is given to you by those that willingly follow you."
Me   :-)

If you need people to support and follow you (ie. employees or volunteers), there are basically 3 choices in how you can motivate them. Depending on what you chose, you will create either drones, mercenaries or partners

1. To create drones - Use force. 
Sit in your office and hand out orders that come with just a hint of threat. Make people know that if they do not produce the desired result they could be fired, docked pay or "talked to" in front of their peers. Force people to do your will by attaching whatever threat you can come up with that will cause discomfort or grief. 

Will they do what you want? Maybe. 
Will they do a quality job? Only as much as they need to in order to avoid punishment. 
Will they be loyal to you if other opportunities rise? No.

You will have created an army (staff or volunteer force) of drones who go through the motions each day so they can get their reward and then spend the evening wishing they could get away from you.

2. To create mercenaries - Use money.
Dangle the carrot from on high. Let them know how much you have and how you will reward them with a portion of it IF they please you. People love that feeling of reward, so give it to them when you get what you want from them. 

Will they do what you want? Most likely.
Will they do a quality job? As long as the reward is good.
Will they be loyal to you if other opportunities arise? Only if your rewards are better.

You will have created a mercenary force. Loyal to the dollars or rewards that you have but ready to become loyal to other rewards elsewhere at the drop of a hat. Keep them working for you as long as they like what you are handing out.

3. To create partners - Use example.
Get dirty, do the job you want done and let people see you doing it with all your heart. Watch for those who want to join in with you. Tell them why you do it and let them join in for their belief in that vision. Treat them well and give them respect.

Will they do what you want? Yes
Will they do a quality job? Yes
Will they be loyal to you if other opportunities arise? Yes

You will have created a team of partners. They will be standing beside you with a vision of a common goal. They will follow you because they believe in you and what you show through your example. Value them and show them that you value them.

If you are a leader or entrepreneur, you have the choice to run your company any way you wish. Pick any of the above as your leadership style. "Profitable" companies exist in all 3 ways. "Successful" companies are built only under #3.

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