A leader without followers is a contradiction in terms. But many executives given charge of a team, division or company assume that authority comes with the title and that followers will fall in behind them as a result. The reality is quite different. The ability to motivate a team – to move it – is a critical leadership skill.
Unfortunately, too often, leaders pick up the traditional tools of management to motivate their team members: bonuses, the promise of promotion, the threat of dismissal. ‘Softer’ approaches can be at least as effective: laying out a clear sense of purpose, giving positive feedback, even the offer of a simple thank-you. But since regulators and policymakers have made bonuses the focus of their investigation ...