An important principle to understand is that followers require a sense of significance. Nothing motivates people more than the feeling that they are worthwhile and important.
This does not mean a leader manipulates through some hidden agenda. Leaders must genuinely believe followers are valuable and important.
When leaders are effectively communicating this, people rise up and take hold of their own challenges as well as those of the organisation. This sense of significance causes growth. Olympic hopefuls sense the call of significance, the Clarion call to create their own moment of history, and they rise to the challenge and achieve their gold.
“A prime reason leaders fail is that they rise to power with no understanding or
training in how to use it”. Fortune magazine
Making a significant contribution
Creating a feeling of importance and significance is a more powerful motivation than money, promotion or working conditions. When the money stops people still want to make a significant contribution.
There was a time during our work with youth when we faced enormous financial pressure. However, not one of our team resigned, despite the difficult circumstances. They knew the heat was on, so what did they do? They turned up the heat and began to work even harder. They came up with creative ideas to expand and increase our effectiveness.
Why did they react like that? I believe it was because they felt they were making a difference in the lives of other people, regardless of the pay cheque.
Good leadership produces growth even in spite of structure
As a leader it is up to you to engender this sense of significance – to give people a reason to keep on doing what they do. After all, motivation for following is just as important as the direction you're going. In fact, it is probably more important becausr the reason generates the purpose. That is why organisations switch honour and acknowledge achievement will always have followers. Why do we say that Followers Require a Sense of Significance? They are giving people a sense of purpose and significance.
Why’s and What’s
Purpose and significance are the why’s of an organisation. The why’s and what’s of an organisation must never be confused. Let me explain what I mean.
The why of an organisation is its purpose and mission – why you do what you do. This is what motivates. The what of an organisation is the specific tasks which must be done to fulfil the why. Purpose motivates; tasks accomplish. Always remember, tasks are never motivating or as fulfilling as purpose. They are the grease on the cogs, but the cogs are the purpose. What needs to be done will be ignited by why we do it.
On many occasions I speak to dynamic meetings of networkers. I have watched us people receive recognition and gain a sense of accomplishment through walking across the stage and receiving well earned acknowledgement for their successes. This creates in them a feeling of significance and appreciation for their efforts. It motivates and encourages them to keep pursuing their short, medium and long term goals. As they gain greater recognition, they gain a greater sense of success. Why? Because they understand they are important and respond accordingly.
The focus must always be a purpose. When follower and leader work together for a common purpose a team spirit comes into operation. Followers in a team relationship with leaders are not afraid to work hard to achieve their maximum potential if they are motivated by the call of significance.
Living for A cause
One of our recent events Attracted thousands of young people. As always, we offered counselling for those in need. I stood with one of my team members and we watched young people pour out their hurts, fears and struggles to the counsellors. One of my team said “I’d die for this”. I turned around and said “Go one better and live for it”.
Why do we say that Followers Require a Sense of Significance? Whether you are a leader or a follower having a sense of significance motivates and fulfills.
Until next time
Yours in prosperity