1.Focus on others

I’ve fallen into this trap myself – trying to motivate and inspire my team when not fully motivated and engaged myself. The starting point to this is to recognise this in ourselves. A coach can help with this; but you might want to first try being more aware of the effect you’re having when you interact with others!

2.Focus on external factors and challenges

This is on the same continuum as number 1 above, and involves the business leader being totally focused on the situation or challenge. The most effective leaders achieve a balance between being internally and externally focused i.e. they are aware of who and how they are with others, so that they can assess their own impact on the situation or person before coming to a conclusion or making a decision.

3.Focus on facts

Good leaders don’t just focus on facts – they know that how people feel about situations and the perceptions of staff, clients and other stakeholders can be as important, and sometimes even more important, than the facts of a particular situation! They take all things into account when a decision is called for.

4.Not tapped into their own drives and motivations

Business Leaders unaware of their own feelings and what drives their behaviour find it difficult to inspire others. Self-awareness and self-knowledge of how to tap into your own inspiration serve to help you do the same with staff.

5.Don't give meaning or value to what they're trying to convey

A strong purposeful approach is particularly important in the current economic climate. People are more likely to be inspired and engaged when there is a purpose to what they’re doing, and when they know the value of their contribution and how it fits with others and the department or organisation’s overall goals.

6.Not taken the time to get to know the individuals and what motivates them

This is often combined with the previous mistake and can make the biggest difference to staff. Those who take the time to get to know staff well will be in a much better position to know what is likely to motivate, inspire, and engage. People’s motivations and drivers might be very different or very similar to your own – the important thing is not to presume!

7.Focus on the short term rather than the ultimate aim

It’s important not to lose sight of the ultimate aim or goal when lots of short term tasks need to be accomplished. These are important in terms of progress and monitoring, but can sometimes get business leaders focusing on the urgent rather than the important things.

8.Forget that it’s a process not a one-time issue

This is often a result of mistake number 7 in that the accomplishment of a particular task is seen as the indicator of success, rather than as an indicator of progress. Inspiring and engaging staff needs to be viewed as a continuous and consistent process of communicating and feeding back.

9.Try to be some-one they're not

Trying to adapt who you are to get the best from others doesn’t usually work, because of the necessity to be consistent and to stay true to yourself. That said, leaders do need to be flexible and adaptable according to particular people and circumstances. Therefore effective leadership is a balancing act - between using your authentic differences, and adapting your behaviour to context – in the same way as a chameleon always adapts to context, but remains a chameleon.

10.Not passionate

Passion can relate to the subject, to what needs to be done or to what leaders are trying to achieve. As explored in my quiz “Are You a Passionate and Successful Business Leader?” passion and energy in business leaders go a long way towards creating passion and energy in followers – they’re infectious.

Author's Bio: 

After experiencing unhappiness in her work and then a decline in her business results that affected how she felt about herself, her business and her life, Julie developed her breakthrough DANCE system to help business women reconnect with themselves to discover their own true path to success rather than simply following or modelling others. For free success information and details of her book Stepping into Success ...The 7 Essential Moves to Bring Your Business to Life visit www.juliejohnsoncoaching.com