Tuesday, December 25, 2012

We Were Young: Staying Motivated and Inspiring Teammates

Historically, leadership has been illustrated as a person who sits on a throne -- the Don Vito Corleone -- the one who yells out orders, commands respect, as well as, disciplines his/her team mates if they make mistakes. In essence, this has caused generations of children to seek out leadership practices that are ineffective in today's corporate and startup culture. While it is always great to be a hustler, a person who is ceaselessly trying to achieve goals -- one should never be blinded by someone's level of motivation in comparison to their composure and integrity.

We were all young at one point where we believed we were invincible. Being invincible meant status --  no one could sway your judgement and no one could tell you you were wrong. As a person evolves through out their life in regards to career and family, they start to become less stubborn. From forging new relationships, rekindling old friendships, and experiencing the roller coaster of life, a person ends up stepping away from that fearless mentality and instead takes the lessons they've learned and applies it on a day-to-day.

In my mind, being relentless means being motivated. The direction of that motivation is what defines the level of integrity that a person has. People can use that motivation in negative or positive ways but as I continue to write this, I find myself reflecting on some of the key things that my mentors have taught me: serve the team. The idea in servant leadership is to not blindly pursue individual goals but to relentlessly seek out the best in your team -- to inspire them with confidence that they will be the best at what they do and that every contribution adds value to the company's vision.  

I must admit that along the way, I do get lost and forget about the whole selfless aspect of leadership -- that is why it is a discipline. Leadership is something you practice, over and over, hours on end. No matter if you're applying the same practices to your family, your sports team, or your group of colleagues at the office -- being motivated to seek out the best in your people builds positive authority, stronger teams, better products, and ultimately adds value to your company on a multitude of levels. 

If you want to make a positive difference in someone's life -- inspire them to be a better person so that they can take those very same practices and apply it to other teammates. Be positive, confident, and motivated -- relentlessly seek out the best in your people.

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