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Leadership, Motivation and Team Roles

Leadership, Motivation and Team Roles

Half-time is approaching in the Everton/Newcastle Premier League match, and the visitors are under severe pressure. United manager Alan Pardew calls Demba Ba from the bench in an attempt to win the game. The Senegalese striker replies with a brace which earns his team a draw.

Pardew later tells us that Demba Ba was upset at being left out and channeled his anger towards goals.

Pardew may have used it as a managerial strategy to motivate his striker. It’s best to use it sparingly. Otherwise, resentment can quickly turn into simmering disaffection or underperformance. Others on the bench might feel the same and see the exclusion as confirmation of their inability to perform well under management.

Any leader or manager must be able to motivate others. Leaders make the biggest mistake of believing that one size fits all is possible. This means that not everyone is encouraged in the same way. It is impossible to be more truthful.

Over the past twenty-plus years, Sir Alex Ferguson has managed to keep his United players’ minds sharp and active by instilling a US v Them mentality that pits his team against those with whom Fergie seems to be at odds. Rival managers, The FA, referees, and The BBC are just a few examples. A strong motivator in a winning group does not want to lose the US.

However, collective motivation is not the only thing that matters. Understanding the personal motivation of each individual is an essential skill that leaders do not have.

Leadership must invest time in individual motivation. This allows you to get into the mind of the individual and identify their key drivers or unmet needs.

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For example, not everyone is motivated by financial rewards alone. You must identify the hidden motivations of your team members as a leader. Next, make sure they have responsibilities that are both individual and collective that align with their motivations.

It is evident that encouragement and praise are vital components of any leader’s motivational tools. How should praise be received? Publicly or privately? Or a silent word is spoken in front of others? How often should you praise them – frequently or occasionally?

These are examples of various needs and triggers and how they can be integrated into the group dynamic.

The glue

This person is the one who always looks out for the team’s needs. This is the person who unites the team. They can be made The Staff Morale Officer, or they can take charge of the social funds and activities. They should report on the group’s morale at each weekly meeting and any factors that might be affecting it. It is essential to have someone who can measure the temperature of the group because it can be easy for distracted leaders to overlook subtle signs that are affecting morale.

The Knowledge

Continuous learning is what inspires this individual. Send them on continuing learning courses. Make sure you also offer opportunities to share that knowledge within the group or organization. This helps to keep the knowledge base of the group expanding and eliminates boredom and familiarity. This type of investment can bring new ideas that will transform the business.

Barrier Breaker

This person needs to challenge themselves and their group and get out of their comfort zone. They do not want Security or Realistic Goals. But they need significant scary Barrier Breaking Goals in order to feel motivated. These goals can be set by them, and then they can inspire the group to achieve them. You must be motivated, or you will become lazy and fall behind.

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Natural Leadership

They love the responsibility. They may have worked as a leader in an organization. They won’t like following orders, so give them something they can do. They will appreciate the fact that they trust you and respond with high-quality work. Don’t be afraid to approach them. You may have more experience than them, so make use of it to your collective advantage.

Quality Control

This person is a keen observer of quality and tiny details. This person should be given the responsibility of looking after the little things that are often overlooked by others in the team. They can be irritating sometimes, and they may seem picky. However, their attentiveness will improve the quality of work and standard.

The Visionary

Futuresetters should be allowed to imagine the impossible. This person is a valuable asset to any company facing new challenges. Although they may be seen as odd and crazy by the group, their unique ideas can transform them and make them leaders in their field.

The Devil’s Advocate

A person who is obsessed with finding flaws in the reason why something doesn’t work. They can be annoying and seen as unfavorable. However, if they are given a specific role in The Devil’s Advocate group, their common sense can be used to ensure that all ideas are well thought out, with all possible downsides considered. They will be much less annoying once they have a specific role in the group Devil’s Advocate.

The Keeper of Core Values

The keeper and maintainer of values and standards. You are able to spot any deviations from the core values and get the group back on the right track. This is something that can be overlooked by busy leaders who are too focused on the business and not on it. They ensure that the group acts in accordance with its promises.

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The Maverick

The Rule Breaker. He doesn’t need permission to do certain things. Has a dislike for authority and excessive governance. Likes to risk losing to win. A leader who inspires the group by believing in the impossible! The Barrier Breaker and The Visionary consider them friends. They are rebels at heart and ensure that the group does not procrastinate or sit around waiting for a project to begin.


This person can transform a dull PowerPoint into something beautiful. They are responsible for ensuring that communications from the group are stimulating and colorfully presented.

The Giver

The person with a worldview considers how the organization affects others. They will be responsible for group charity work and engagement with the broader community. The group benefits from their worldview, which creates perspective and stops arrogance and self-centeredness.

All of these roles can be combined and made to work together, making the team powerful and efficient. If everyone respects the differences, the unit can be much more than its parts.

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