Are You Running a Democracy or a Dictatorship? The True Secret of Effective Leadership

Ever wonder why it doesn’t matter how hard you beg, bribe or threaten your employees, they just can’t seem to get the job done the way you want them to?

Earlier this week I stumbled across an interesting article on employee motivation. Okay, I can’t really say “stumbled”. More like, “Was beaten over the head with a sledgehammer.” My brain is still throbbing.

I’ll save you the full recap, although if you’ve got time you should take a minute to go check it out. That article hit on something we’ve all known for a very, very long time. That nobody gets up, gets dressed and puts their blood, sweat and tears into a project just for the dollar signs they’re going to see at the end of it.

Are Your Employees Committed to the Cause, or Just Slogging Away for a Paycheck?

Like most people, I worked minimum wage jobs to pay my way through college. Waiting tables. Flipping burgers. Stocking books. Selling calendars. Cleaning the lab at the student clinic.

With the notable exception of the winter I spent mindlessly watching the clock tick from a mall kiosk, most of these jobs had some redeeming feature. Each and every one of them also came equipped with the co-worker that just doesn’t care.

You know why they didn’t care? Because they felt like they had absolutely no investment whatsoever in whether or not the company they were working for kept their head above water. If the company closed its doors, they’d just go work somewhere else.

Obviously, this did wonders for their commitment to getting to work on time. And taking care of their customers. And actually getting the job done.

Running an Evil Dictatorship Never Works Out the Way You Think It Will

When you step up to the bat on a project with a vision, you want to make sure everything’s perfect. So you lay down the project parameters, micro-manage everybody’s work, harp on your employees to make sure that deadline’s reached…and wonder why your team scatters like cockroaches the minute you walk in the door.

Draw your team in when you’re working together. Encourage them to provide input and offer suggestions. Make them feel like it’s their project, not your project.

You’ll be amazed by how quickly it makes a difference.