5 Differences in Motivation by Manager vs. Leader



I guess the majority of us know that motivation of your followers and employees is a tricky task to achieve. Management and leadership is all about setting objectives and targets that need to be achieved, while controlling the achievement and reward-or-punishment process. As a manager or a leader you cannot expect your employees or followers to have the desired behaviour of a goal’s achievement without setting a correct motivational strategy for them.

We are living in a globalized, fast-moving world and employees are the greatest assets companies can have.

I think that in order to “have and hold these assets”, organizations should create certain strategies that would a) attract the right employee; b) bring him to the organization; c) motivate him to stay and be much more productive than he expected; d) hold him for the long-term. Motivation can be seen at each of these stages.

From the manager’s perspective, it is crucial to understand where the company is right now and where it needs to be in the future. After understanding these factors, a manager can set clear goals and objectives to present to a leader, who should also be motivated by a manager. When the leader has the right motivation and power, he can create a motivation strategy to influence his followers to accomplish goals settled by the manager.

Want to know difference between leading and managing? Check this article

Before writing this article I have checked different motivational theories, and get completely lost on thousands of them. Nevertheless, I decided to create the following guidelines for motivational approaches that are summarized below. Managers or leaders could use them to motivate, inspire and encourage their employees and followers.

  1. Manager: clearly identify the mission, vision and strategy of the organization, its goals and objectives. Be sure that everyone understands where the company stands right know and where it aims to be. And also, make sure that everyone inside your company knows what desired goals and behaviours they must accomplish.
  2. Leader: make sure that your followers understand where they must move to accomplish goals. Inspire them, and make them be passionate about what they are doing.
  3. Manager and leader: create such system in the workplace where there is a place for ongoing learning, development and growth. Provide employees and followers with opportunities. This can also be presented as a benefit in motivational strategy.
  4. Leader: take an individual approach — do not motivate “in mass”. Personal development and motivational plans are key factors for success in the creation of correct motivation.
  5. Leader: communicate with your followers, since only through ongoing communication will you be able to monitor and mentor your team in order to increase their competence and skills.
  6. Manager and leader: provide positive or negative reinforcement. As a leader or a manager you should encourage your employees when they succeed and, on the other hand, “punish” or discourage them when performance is lower than desired.
  7. Manager and leader: do not set up over-high expectations, be realistic. It is better to set a yearly plan with small achievable goals, rather than monthly unachievable targets.
  8. Manager and leader: create a working environment where high discipline and ethical standards are commonplace. Your followers or employees should be proud of the place where they work, the leader they follow and the manager who represents them.
  9. Leader: encourage innovation and creativity by empowering followers for risk-taking approaches to achieve targets. Give your followers a vision of having the power to change something in the working process. This is what motivates the majority of us — feelings of power.
  10. Manager and leader: win trust. Managers should win the trust of leaders, whereas a leader has to win the trust of his followers. It is all connected with working in an ethical environment, where employees feel more comfortable and enthusiastic.
  11. Manager and leader: do not try to be someone you are not. As an example: if you are not a transformational leader, do not try to be one just because it is the coolest style ever.
Those guidelines were made based on Herzberg’s 2-factor theory, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (I think the best one ever), The Hawthorne effect theory, Expectancy theory, and the Reinforcement theory of motivation.

To summarize, as a leader or manager you simply are expected to implement motivational approaches that would best suit your workforce. If you know that your team is more for tangible benefits and carrot and stick approach, then use a motivational system that best suits here (ex. Skinner’s motivational approach).

Motivation is not a one-time process, and it is definitely not a template process either.

Each manager and leader should create motivational strategies and approaches based on their organization, their strategies and desired performance. And do not forget they you are working with people — they are your assets, and it is your task to make them feel loyal & needed at your organization.

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