5 Keys to Motivation and Leadership

By Sean McPheat

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Picture this motivation for leadership scene: Several years ago, while working in a sales-intense environment, a steady mid-week jaunt was suddenly and violently interrupted when a manager came bursting through the door with the exasperated look of a frightened elk.

He informed his team, through a stuttering, panicked, barely audible frustration, that the regional manager was in the area for the next few days, and this store was a prime target for his ruthless inspection.


Immediately, they set about getting everything in order. They informed the rest of the team of the seriousness of the operation and of the opportunity it presented. They got that store in ship-shape condition.

Managers worked tirelessly to ready graphs and figures to present their information and show exactly what they could do, and not a single customer was missed.

They were ready to prove how good their store could be, and in the end, that was probably the most motivated team ever seen in the often-questionable company.

Little Hope

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out quite like they thought it might. The big boss strode in with a gloopy air of irritating viscosity like he had to wade through the tarmac beneath his feet. There was little hope from there.

He greeted a team of enthusiastic, engaged employees, all eager to show off their accomplishments and the achievements they had made.

Regrettably, he didn’t seem to notice. At each stage of his tour of the store, he could only highlight what was missing, what hadn’t been done, and asked why there wasn’t anymore.

He complained, frowned, shook his head, and left.

The difference in the team was visible immediately. They felt like they had worked for nothing, utterly disengaged and demotivated. This was the polar opposite of their work ethic before the visit.

Motivated Leader

5 Keys to Motivation for Leadership

We have to remember that creating invested, engaged employees aren’t something that can be done once and then forgotten.

If you’re not winning over ‘hearts and minds, all you’re creating are potential losses.

So, what five things can we take away from this catastrophic management blunder?

1. Respect

It doesn’t cost anything. And at any level, it is always a two-way street.

If you don’t show employees respect or if you talk down to them or assume they’re not working hard, you’ll lose any respect they might have for you.

2. Conversation

Communication is important in every aspect of business, and even more so when you’re leading a team of people.

Talk to your employees on a personal level, listen to what they have to say, and reply with relationship-building in mind.

3. Gratitude

Actually, being appreciative of employee efforts and acknowledging successes will keep your people wanting to do well.

Celebrating achievement is always important. And if you can bring a team together with your praise, you’ll strengthen their bond and build motivation tenfold.

4. Development

This is the manner in which you should address issues and highlight areas where individuals might make headway.

Develop their ideas and your own. Identify what needs to be worked on, keep it positive, and always focus on the next step.

For example, “What we’ve achieved so far is great, and this is where we could be if we do this.”

5. Reminder

As a leader, it’s easy to become lost in paperwork and logistics. A lot of the time, employees don’t get to see the bigger picture as you might.

Communicate that the work they do is important, and every success is a company-wide success that they should be proud of.

Most of all, let employees know they’re making a real difference.

Conduct a meeting with these five steps in mind, and in no time, you’ll have the most motivated, fired-up team ready to do anything for you, the company, and for success.

How Do You Inspire Motivation for Leadership?

If you have ideas about the motivation for leadership that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Sean McPheat
Sean McPheat
Sean helps companies improve their sales, management and HR teams through consulting, coaching and training. Sean is Managing Director of the MTD Training group and you can follow Sean online here for more tips and advice on how to boost your business.
  • Leigh Ann says:


    I really enjoyed your article. All the while I was reading your scenario, I was remembering a different (personally lived) one that produced the same outcome; there are many! Your 5 points are valuable. Under the Respect category, I think we need to remember how easy it is to criticize “from a distance” and to forget all the work that lies behind our products and services. Respect is a precursor for trust.


    Great article. An application of these keys will certainly produce a better workforce and a more efficient management.

  • Dr. Emmanuel Chijioke says:

    Yes, these five leadership/motivational skills are on point but they did not include the most fundamental issue which is doing the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the situation) analysis of the situation before embarking on these skills.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
    Brilliant Leadership Logo

    Improve Yourself & Your Team

    Get The Training Proven By 40,000+ Leaders