This seems to be the tricky part for most leaders and organizations. If part of your research didn’t involve the needs, desires, and rewards of your team members or your target audience you might get stuck being the only person willing to row.
To get others on board and have them rowing passionately in the same direction try these tactics:
FIND THEIR REWARD: Hopefully you have a clear understanding of what your intrinsic reward will be from the initiative or vision. Next, discover why others would take the time, make the effort, or care about engaging with you. What’s in it for them? Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can guess what it is. You are not them. Ask them what their reward would be from participating.
This is super important so don’t just scan this part and move on. An intrinsic reward isn’t that your team gets to keep their jobs or make more money. The drive people have for those types of rewards are short-term and their catalyst can be anxiety. Align your vision or initiative with what others will find rewarding from participating.
Ask members of your team this week, “When we achieve our goals this year, how would you like to be rewarded?” To discover who should be doing which action items try asking this, “What part of executing the vision do you think would be the most rewarding for you?”
BETA TEST: During your planning phase run your vision and thoughts by a few people who are more likely to give you information rather than confirmation. Pitch the vision to someone that has no “dog in the race” and see how the person responds to it. Notice what questions they ask you about it or if they don’t ask any. People who are engaged are usually curious and ask questions.
BE AUTHENTIC: Your enthusiasm, drive, and passion can be contagious to others. It’s not about making one good speech to your team and saying, “Go get ‘em!” Truly engaging others in a vision is about knowing yourself, listening to and knowing them, and consistently communicating in a way that reminds everyone of the why behind the initiative. Engaging others takes time and effort. Steve Jobs, in order to start iTunes had to go to each of the record labels and the musical artists to engage them in his vision and “sell” them on how it would benefit them in the long run.
START WITH YOUR INFLUENCERS: Begin the process of engaging members of your team or even your customer base by starting with the biggest influencers. Once they are on board they can help you get others to follow. By the time you go public or launch your vision, inside influencers should be in the crowd cheering the loudest.
Next week we’ll discuss ways to support others once they are engaged.
What one activity will you do this week that will have the highest impact on your desired outcomes?