Today’s guest post is by Mark Furlong, you can find out more about him at the end of this article. While in large measure this article pertains to leadership on the job, the principles outlined in this article can be applied to church and ministry leadership as well as our interpersonal work relationships. Whether it be a job, ministry, or being involved in helping out in church, if we feel our contribution is important and makes a difference…we will work harder and feel more like a part of the team.
You know that you get a lot more done, in less time, with greater results when your enthusiasm level is high. I am a long time weight trainer and consider it to be the greatest fitness practice available, when done correctly. One thing I know, if you are trying to lift 150 pounds, having the strength to lift 149 will not move the weight. You have to have the strength to lift 150 pounds or more. Like weight training, some projects will not even move unless you have enough enthusiasm strength or force to lift them. (Like starting a new program or making a significant change). Enthusiasm helps everyone do better and have more fun doing it.
The problem is we all live in a world dominated by the 2nd law of Thermodynamics; if things are left alone they will gradually get worse and fall apart (my layman’s paraphrase). This week I’ve been posting on Facebook and Twitter the 4 principles Ken Blanchard shares in his book Gung Ho on how to raise the performance and enthusiasm levels of an individual or team. I’d recommend you read that short, but powerful book, but here are the 4 main points.
- Meaningful work. People get motivated and their commitment level takes off when they see and believe the work they are doing matters. If it’s just a “job”; writing copy, making another speech, building another deck, or cleaning up another mess, it’s hard to give a great effort. If, however, we see the end result like people will get much healthier, or this organization will be revitalized to serve foreign students who feel alone, or cleaning this up will give a distressed family their lives back; that changes our “job” to an important “mission.” If it’s work that people are actually gifted for and like to do, that makes it that much better (way better actually.)
- Control of Goal Achievement. It was either Eisenhower or Truman who said, “Tell people what to do but don’t tell them how to do it.” Blanchard agrees. He says managers/leaders set the goals for the team but get input from those doing the work on how to best reach that goal. In his book Drive, Daniel Pink says, autonomy is a big motivator for knowledge works. No one wants someone looking over their shoulder, micro-managing, or treating them like dummies. People need to have a large measure of control on how they do their work—that increases enthusiasm.
- Encouragement. Blanchard says ,”Congratulations are affirmations that who people are and what they do matter, and that they are making a valuable contribution toward achieving the shared mission….You can’t overdo TRUE congratulations: Timely, Responsive, Unconditional, Enthusiastic.
- Results Assessment. If the goal is fully reached, throw a party, have some type of celebration! Celebrating is a powerful force for on-going enthusiasm and something most achievement oriented leaders easily neglect. It helps people get that sense of victory, accomplishment, and fulfillment that they have actually completed something important. That is great enthusiasm fuel.
Remember those 4 points and implement them: Meaningful work, Control of the work, Encouragement, and Celebration. Great job, you finished reading this, take a moment and celebrate!
Mark Furlong is an author and achievement coach with over 30 years of experience. He equips people turn their passion into influence and income by mastering entrepreneurial leadership skills. Go to http://www.MarkFurlongCoaching.com to get your free audio “Improving Leadership Results Quickly”.