“Ideals, among all beliefs, represent the highest outcome of the thinking function.”
– José Ingenieros in ‘The Mediocre Man”
When I first started working, it immediately became evident to me that I hated all that motivational speech stuff.
Being in the software industry implied that deadlines where always a major concern and that the gap between scope definition and actually achieved functionality was a constant source of management inquiry and questioning, and the automatic action to “lead” us to the right path was to deliver a motivational speech to implicitly make us see how those problems raised out from our lack of vision, commitment and motivation.
I felt insulted. I didn’t like managers to assume that I had no vision or commitment without knowing my individual case, and I also knew that most of our results crisis was due to a poor definition of processes and mechanisms to ensure an efficient flow of information.
Of course that “motivational” speech had exactly the opposite effect: our moral was constantly smashed in despite of all the effort we applied in our work to try to get some recognition. We where doomed to fail, not because our capabilities but because the conditions we where working on.
When I started my own endeavor, I found that that experience had the effect of making me reluctant to everything related to those “motivational” efforts trough speech, and so I believed that I was a bad leader because I was hard to find value in such an important “leadership skill”. I used to think that, for me, everything was about systems, methods and procedures.
Now I know that it all has always been about the people, but in a respectful fashion. I found that I focus primarily on work conditions because I believe that what people expects the most from a job is professional accomplishment. And with the expertise of twenty years of entrepreneurship I have developed my
- Motivational speech is not a leadership skill. High quality information delivery is.
- Leaders don focus on correcting people, they focus on correcting people’s work conditions.
- Artificial motivation is expensive and short termed. Organic motivation can be achieved only through success, recognition and respect.
- To focus on weaknesses improvement is a squandering. To focus on strength boosting is hyper productive.
- Leaders don’t expect people to find the same solutions that he or she would have found. Leaders propitiate and value heuristic diversity.
- Leaders don’t intrude on people’s work; they know how to do it. Leaders focus on people’s interaction and organization.
- Leaders keep their influence in a strict work context. Leaders don’t invade personal, social or leisure spheres of people.
- Leaders never blame people for poor performance, they always blame the conditions they give to people.
- Leaders value and prize cooperation as much as goal achievement.
- People is never wrong, they can only be led astride or not led at all.
Originally published at hugolvcdotcom.wordpress.com on September 22, 2015.