In simple terms the title of this post could very well had been “how to be a good leader”; since an essential aspect of being a good manager is to head a team of motivated happy employees.

Teams seek inspiration and focused guidance from their leaders – for better performance and rising to any competition.

  • Are your employees or team members moving toward a common purpose or direction?
  • Are they high performers / contributors or just ‘workers’ completing their day to day tasks?
  • Does your team feel motivated to explore new challenges at work or meet competition on a larger scale?

If the answer to the above questions is ‘no’, it is time to work on building your dream team.

For now, let’s focus primarily on the core skills that are essential for a good leader to motivate the team which translates to better productivity and profits and success to the the company.


What can you do to improve your team’s performance?



As a leader it is your responsibility to show your team the bigger picture. Often employees feel unchallenged or de-motivated when they feel they are just a part of a small process and not engaged in the larger organizational structure. Engage your team in open discussions and organize regular meetings to how their work influences company success. A sense of belonging and participation in progress motivates anyone.

You can inspire only if you ‘walk your talk’. Follow the “what you ‘say’ is what you get” approach to promote your credibility to your team. To be a role model you have to work hard on proving that you’re the one they can count on.

Nothing can add more to your credibility than authentic actions.

The more you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions, the more credibility you will have.
~ Brian Koslow


Support and Empower

The more trust and responsibility you can share with your team the more effective you can be in your team building efforts.

Kouzes and Posner in The Leadership Challenge say: ‘Leaders foster collaboration and build spirited teams. They actively involve others. Leaders understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; they strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity. They strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful.”


Incentives and Praise

What are you working for? What inspires you?

It could be more money or recognition; almost everyone works for a desirable end result. What motivates your team? It is your job to poll each team member on an ongoing basis to find more about their career aspirations and how they would want to be recognized for what they do.

Incentives and rewards can be made employee centric – ask them what type of recognition would excite them the most – employees feel much more motivated when they are working toward what they want.

Also, show them what they can achieve by surpassing the goals you have set for them.

Karen Rubin in an HBR article suggests, “Use internal surveys or interviews to get a baseline. Find out why people enjoy working at your company and what they value the most about being there. Use this information to keep an eye on what matters most to your employees.”


Share and Open up

The more you willing to share news and updates on the projects and expectations, the more trust you can build with your group. Secrets sour relationships and have no place at the workplace when you aim toward building strong, high-performance teams.

Be approachable and be informal to the level where you keep your required distance and respect; you are the beacon and inspiration of the team.  At times you cannot be a co-worker to your team, to motivate and to inspire you have to be on a “pedestal” – someone to be be looked up to!

A successful leader must work to support and guide the team and make each team member a strategic part of the overall success plan.


It is your job to show then how their work influences the company growth and how they are a part of a larger goal?  To inspire your team always keep them in touch with the company’s vision and show them how they will benefit when the company outperforms others in the competition.

How have you inspired your team or group to better performance?