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Marshall Goldsmith
Executive Coach/Author

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive educator, speaker, coach and best-selling author. His most recent book is Mojo.

Motivation from within

In response to this week's On Leadership question: Last year was a tough one for many organizations, with fewer employees required to do more with less. How can leaders of such organizations motivate their people as they head into 2010?

My suggestions for leaders who are required to do more with less:

· Tell the truth. The people that work with you aren't stupid. They know when times are tough. Let them know why they are required to do more with less. People respect honesty.

· Involve people. After laying out the situation in a manner that respects their intelligence, ask them to help generate creative ideas on how productivity can be improved. Encourage their creativity.

· Enable them to participate in the upside. If your staff members are being asked to make special sacrifices when times are bad, give them an opportunity to collect greater rewards when business improves. Let them know that their special investment has the potential for special reward.

· Be compassionate. When hard decisions have to be made, do it in the most humane way possible. Treat everyone with respect. Everyone is your friend when times are good. We always remember the way we were treated when times were bad.

· Think of how you would want your manager to treat you in this type of situation. Use this thought process to generate ideas for the right way to treat your staff members.

· Recognize that their ultimate motivation comes from inside them - not inside you. The more they are involved in determining the course of their own work lives, the more they will "take ownership" and perform in an authentic manner. I am not sure anyone ever really changes their behavior because of pep talks from their manager. Don't over-estimate your role in their motivation. Don't under-estimate their role in their own motivation.

By Marshall Goldsmith

 |  January 5, 2010; 5:53 AM ET
Category:  Economic crisis Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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