Several suggested practices for a spiritual leader (Eighth)

8. MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO MOTIVATE THEMSELVES

Without a leader’s inspiration and persuasion followers gifts are log jammed, and their creative contributions go nowhere. A leader creates a suitable climate for the growth of ideas, fosters responsiveness and cooperation, and provides the creative spark that moves people forward. Great leaders of hope ask people to be greater than they are, and they work so that they might be.

A common error of leadership is to presume that motivation already exists because people come to work and put in their time. This mistaken assumption fails to appreciate that enthusiasm and apathy are two points on the same continuum.

In motivating others, leaders at times need to restrain their leadership, allowing followers to move alongside them. So, a leader should inspire not order, pull not push, and let people use their own initiative. Being alongside, a leader can ask probing questions, challenge expectations, affirm and reward successes, network, and build confidence through agreement.

In motivating others a leader must involve them in the work at hand and the process of change. A leader of hope will delegate significant responsibilities

A leader of hope appreciates the advantages of surprise. He or she can surprise followers with anticipatory benevolence; an attitude of always anticipating good will towards others. In contemporary working environments this surprising attitude of good will and affection can achieve wonders.

Part of motivation is to foster a collective commitment to a vision of hope.

5. Suggestions:

1. Identify ways to keep yourself motivated in your work.

2. List the ways you try to motivate others.

3. Train yourself to get out of the way and let others find their own leadership.

4. Involve workers in significant responsibilities.

5. Think of ways to surprise your workers and customers.

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About Leonard Doohan

Dr. Leonard Doohan is Professor Emeritus at Gonzaga University where he was a professor of religious studies for 27 years and Dean of the Graduate School for 13 years. He has written 17 books and 160 articles and has given over 350 workshops throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East. Leonard's recent books include Spiritual Leadership: the Quest for Integrity, in 2007, Enjoying Retirement: Living Life to the Fullest, in 2010, and Courageous Hope: The Call of Leadership, in 2011. Leonard's wife is Helen who was also a Professor Emerita at Gonzaga, specializing in the writings of Paul.

Posted on October 12, 2012, in Leadership, Leadership and vision, Spiritual leadership and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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