Several years ago while I was working in a consumer goods company, I was associated with a brand that had historically been second in the race for market share. Most of us had no idea that a new segment of this industry was about to emerge. One middle level leader, however, did see the signs in the marketplace and took steps to have our brand take the leading position in attacking this new offering.
I was chosen by this leader to be a member of this very select project team that, under his guidance, influenced the market forever. To this day I still appreciate being selected and the honor bestowed on me to join the team. Knowing that I was respected enough to be chosen, launched an energy from within me, a renewed dedication and profound loyalty.
The power of being chosen is an overlooked motivational tool. Every day leaders are giving assignments, delegating tasks and assigning responsibility. Far too many times the opportunity to motivate a person is lost because the leader does not understand the power of telling someone that they have been chosen rather than merely assigned. If all leaders understood the power of choosing the person to do an important task they would select their words more carefully. For example, compare these two statements. “I need this on my desk by 5 o’clock on Friday.” “I think you are the right person to complete this task and move our project forward.”
Motivation is such an elusive component of leadership that this simple opportunity of choosing someone AND communicating it in a motivating manner cannot be overlooked. People are motivated through the heart, not through the mind or through the wallet. You may argue that compensation, bonuses and commissions can cause improved performance. I’m not going to take sides, but I will say, from my experience, money is only a short-term motivator.
A challenge that all leaders face is building passion in their followers. The power of being chosen has long term, heartfelt rewards.