Roles of Leadership, Inspiration, and Collaboration


At the break in the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle, the visitors are getting hammered. United manager Alan Pardew substitutes in Senegalese striker Demba Ba in an attempt to salvage a result, and Ba reacts by scoring twice to pull his team even.

Pardew explains after the fact that Demba Ba took out his frustration on the opposition by scoring multiple goals.

If this is a strategy employed by Pardew to inspire his striker, it has been fruitful. However, this tactic should be used with caution because it can easily incite hatred, which in turn can lead to low morale and productivity. The other players on the bench may feel rejected by the organization and begin to sulk if they are not selected.

Any manager or leader worth their salt will have the ability to consistently inspire their team. Leaders often err when they assume that their method will be effective across the board. In other words, everyone has the same driving forces. Actually, the opposite is true.

The US vs. Them mindset that Sir Alex Ferguson has fostered during his twenty-plus year reign at United has kept his players psychologically fresh and engaged by pitting them against foes that Fergie appears to pick fights with. Referees, the FA, the BBC, and opposing managers are just a few examples. A strong winning group is driven by the desire to not let the United States down.

However, hidden within the group’s motivation lies each member’s unique drive, and it takes a certain kind of leader who can tap into this individual drive to consistently produce stellar results.

Leadership must consistently make time to encourage their employees. Time spent with a person to better understand their motivations and any unfulfilled needs they may have.

Money isn’t the only thing that drives some people. As a leader, you should make an effort to learn what drives each member of your team beneath the surface. Then, you should work to ensure that they have both individual and group obligations that are commensurate with their incentives.

It goes without saying that a leader’s arsenal of motivational tools should include words of praise and encouragement. But how exactly should they be praised? How about behind closed doors? In front of a group or in private? And should you compliment that individual on a regular basis, or just on special occasions?

Here are some scenarios illustrating the range of human needs and triggers, along with suggestions for incorporating them into the group dynamic.

The Binder

This is the kind of person who has the team’s best interests at heart. The unifying force behind the group. Put them in charge of the company’s social budget and events, or appoint them the Staff Morale Officer. Request updates on group morale and any potential variables affecting it at each week’s meeting. Subtle signals of dwindling morale can be missed by a busy or distracted leader, making it all the more important to have someone who can take the temperature of the group.

The Information

This person is driven by a thirst for knowledge. Keep sending them on courses, but also provide them chances to share what they’ve learned with the rest of the team. This prevents the group from becoming too familiar or bored, and it also helps the group continue to learn new things. This sort of expenditure can give rise to novel ideas with the potential to radically alter the company.

Remover of Obstacles

This person, as well as the rest of the group, needs to be forced out of their comfort zone and into new situations. They’re not motivated by safety or achievable goals, but by challenging ones that will force them to grow. Let them come up with these kinds of objectives, and then let them serve as a source of motivation for the team. Must be motivated or it will become complacent and underachieve.

Leadership through Nature

This person is enamored with the weight of duty. They may have previous experience as a leader in another organization. Don’t expect them to be happy just following commands; instead, offer them something to sink their teeth into. They’ll appreciate your faith in them and give you their best effort in return. And you shouldn’t worry about them at all. You could learn from their wisdom and experience if you let them.

Checking for Quality

This person is really attentive to quality and detail. Put them in charge of the team’s minutiae, the things that people tend to miss. The quality of the job and the standards as a whole will gain from their careful attention, even though their ‘pickiness’ might occasionally grate on the nerves of those around them.

The Foresightful

The futurist who needs to be given the freedom to consider the impossible. A crucial asset for any company tackling novel problems. The group may think this person is weird, but their out-of-the-box ideas can help them become industry leaders.

The Advocacy of Evil

One who delights in finding reasons why something can’t work. Can be annoying and seem negative, but if assigned the duty of Devil’s Advocate, their ‘common sense’ can be channeled into ensuring that all proposals are thoroughly explored, including the potential drawbacks. Having a Devil’s Advocate in the organization will make everyone much more responsible.

Guardian Of Fundamental Principles

One who upholds or maintains norms and ethics. has the ability to detect and correct any lapses in organizational behavior consistent with fundamental principles. Again, this is something that can be overlooked by a leader who is too busy working “IN” the business rather than “ON” it. Their presence guarantees the group will act in accordance with its stated intentions.

The Contrarian

A person who consistently disobeys the rules. Doesn’t wait to be told it’s okay to act. Dislikes any form of authoritarian rule. Risking defeat in the hopes of achieving victory is something she relishes. Inspire others to believe the impossible is possible. One who is on good terms with both the Trailblazer and the Visionary. They are a rebel at heart, thus the group is never idle and itching to get started on a project.

One Who Spreads News

The one who can make even a dull PowerPoint presentation look stunning. Their responsibility is to ensure that all group communications are interesting, well-designed, and effective in conveying the intended message.

The Donor

The global thinker who considers the organization’s effects on its stakeholders. Make them responsible for organizing and leading the group’s charitable efforts and community outreach efforts. Their outlook on the world gives the group a sense of proportion and helps keep pride and egotism at bay.

When everyone on the team is doing their part and cooperating, the result is often a very efficient and productive group. The roles will even out on their own, and if everyone appreciates the unique contributions they each make, the whole will be better than the sum of its parts.

Sky News consults Martin Perry, a Leadership Coach, when they need to know why a company or team is underperforming. Through Martin’s instruction, team leaders and managers can confidently steer their organizations through periods of transition.

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