The Best Leadership Tool is Being Real

[4 Minute Read + Video + Example] Concerned your team members are burnt out and disengaged? Here’s a letter that will help inspire their commitment and support.

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The Best Motivational Tool is Being Real

Concerned your team members are burnt out and disengaged? Here’s a letter that will help inspire their commitment and support.

We’re in the midst of the biggest workplace upheaval in recent years. The Great Resignation and ‘Quiet Quitting’ have led to a substantial backslide in the capacity and capabilities of many businesses. The statistic that I found most surprising was shared by Gallup Research in 2021 that more than 50% of the workforce were either quitting or actively disengaged.

“The overall decline was especially related to clarity of expectations, opportunities to learn and grow, feeling cared about, and a connection to the organisation’s mission or purpose – signalling a growing disconnect between employees and their employers.”

Source: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/398306/quiet-quitting-real.aspx

Engagement, appreciation and behaviour

Reading the above research took me back to the days when I was an employee (more than 20 years ago!). Before starting my own business, I worked for other people for the first decade of my professional career. I averaged around 18 months in each role before I felt the urge to move on. My reasons for doing so were consistent with those shown in the research.

I craved being part of a team where my heart and mind were engaged to their full potential, and where my contribution was recognised and appreciated – not stuck in a back room grinding away for others to steal the kudos.

I would have loved the type of boss who had the courage to write a letter like the one below. This would have made me stay and give my all to the business.

Would you respond the same way?

I’ll share the source of this letter with you in a moment, but first I’d like you to consider what it says and feel the impact it has on you.

Practical and personal leadership

OK, you found me out. This letter exemplifies one of five outputs exclusive to my 12-Hour Leadership Mentoring Program. It’s called Your Leadership Mandate, and is created after careful analysis of your motivation and areas for development as a leader, and the requirements of your business.

When I created the 12-Hour Leadership Mentoring Program, I wanted to bring leadership back down to earth and open strong communication channels. I wanted to make it practical and personal because that’s what it takes to bring out the best performance in our teams and earn their loyalty.

In less than 260 words, the letter below does everything it needs to win my heart and mind for the year ahead. It:

  • Gives a clear and confident direction
  • Shares a compelling image of progress in the business
  • Talks of real-world experiences to which I can relate
  • Doesn’t fudge around the pain and stress in the business, nor excuses it away
  • Isn’t overly flowery or emotive: it’s not trying to sell me on anything
  • Opens three intriguing questions that I want to see solved.

Too often, leaders present the future direction of a business as a fait accompli. But this letter intellectually teases my mind (in a positive way!) to start thinking of practical solutions.

I’m invited into developing the solution, which gives me the self-determination I crave. My manager is treating me as a valued member of a team.

Defining the preferred behaviours within the team is another thing I love about this letter, especially since those behaviours align with what’s happening in the business. Corporate values are too often abstract, unrelatable and stale – but the behaviours listed are living and liveable.

The eight words of the final sentence – And you can expect the same from me – puts the wax seal on my commitment. It communicates to me very transparently that the leader is part of the improvement efforts, not separate or above them. They are on the journey with me – not ahead, not behind – but alongside me, guiding the team into a new era of achievement.

If my manager wrote a letter like this to me, they would have my unwavering commitment and support. Just try it with your team and see the difference it makes.

Inside a Bold Mind explores the inner landscape of women who are finding the courage to live a bold and rewarding life. Follow us for weekly stories that inspire you to conquer your fears, discover yourself and achieve your life goals.

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