How are great leaders great motivators? Great leaders gravitate to positions of authority, and make more money, because people want to follow them. They know how to motivate people and get them to want to help them achieve an important goal. But, leaders are not born that way. They don’t automatically know how to be great leaders and great motivators.

If you wish to become a great leader, who’s a great motivator, here are 5 steps to take:


Great leaders are great motivators because they are genuinely interested in others.How are great leaders great motivators? Dale Carnegie, in the best-selling book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, said that the people who cause the most harm in society are the ones who aren’t interested in anyone but themselves. He also said that the people who are genuinely interested in others seem to have the doors of opportunity opening up ahead of them. Carnegie further stated that everybody’s favorite topic is THEM! It’s not you; it’s not me; it’s THEM.

So, a great leader gets to know people by letting them talk about themselves. My dearly departed Jewish mother was genuinely interested in other people and she let them talk about themselves. She said that everybody’s got a story and she felt she could learn something interesting from everybody she met.

How are great leaders great motivators? They realize that their future success is dependent on their ability to create great relationships. My mother created them in minutes by asked everybody the same Five Questions:

Where are you from originally?

(If not from here) What brought you here?

(If from here) Have you lived here all your life?

Do you have a family?

(If you don’t know) What do you do?

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

In my many years of being a speaker, with many events for groups of CEO’s worldwide, I’m amazed with how many people don’t really know the people they’ve been working with for many years. They can’t answer the five questions above. When I get them to sit down for coffee with those employees, and ask these questions, their leadership status goes way up because they’re being genuinely interested and letting people talk about their favorite topic – THEM.


Great leaders are great motivators because they don't criticize, condemn, or complain.How are great leaders great motivators? They don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. That piece of important leadership training is at the heart of Chapter 1 of the Carnegie book. He said that, if you wanted to put the nails in the coffin of any relationship, go ahead and criticize, condemn, or complain.

The natural instinct is to do exactly that. However, great leaders realize that this is a huge roadblock when it comes to motivating other people. They also realize that the most precious thing anyone of us has is our self-image, the way we see ourselves. When we criticize other people, we’re tearing down their self-image. This is especially harmful when we do so in front of other people. That may be the moment they decide that they eventually want to work somewhere else.

Instead of criticizing, condemning, or complaining, how about stating the following when someone who reports to you makes a mistake or does something they shouldn’t have done: “What did we learn from this situation and what do you think we could do differently next time?” That statement will let someone save face and will teach them something productive when they come up with a better direction for the future.

Another productive step would be to go for an entire week without complaining about anything to anyone! Just do this and I think you’ll be amazed with how motivating that will be for the people around you.


Great leaders are great motivators because they let the other person do a great deal of the talking.Great leaders are great motivators because they get other people to do more of the talking and to come up with their own ideas. After all, people will fight for their own ideas! God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe we should listen twice as much as we talk. The reason more people don’t become great leaders is that they feel they know it all and want to tell other people what to do. Who’s the only person growing here?

If you’re a leader of people, make sure you don’t monopolize meetings. Great leaders know that they will motivate others much better when they make the people around them shine. Thus, if you want to motivate others to help you with an idea, give the idea and then say the following: “I’d like to stop and get everyone’s opinion of my idea, whether you agree or disagree. Especially if you disagree, because I’ve been known to be wrong.”

I’m taking for granted that you’re genuinely interested in other people. If you’re not, don’t do this. Also, watch your tone of voice. We want people to feel safe talking in meetings, especially if they disagree. Then, don’t ask for volunteers. Simply start on one side of the room or the other. Then, when people comment, take notes, and not electronically. When we take notes, when someone else is talking, we honor them. What if they come up with a great idea? If possible, let them run with that idea. As I stated, people will fight for their own idea.


Great leaders are great motivators because they admit mistakes quickly.Great leaders are great motivators because, when they’re wrong, they admit it quickly and emphatically. It shows that they are human and that they’re open to learning. The majority of people will defend themselves, waste a lot of time, and not help improve the moment. The statement, “I was wrong!” can go a long way to show great leadership and to motivate other people to help you move ahead.

I was born in Israel. There, in company meetings, leaders do not tolerate people defending themselves when things go wrong. To them, defending is not acceptable. They believe it’s a big waste of time. They feel that, if you were wrong, admit it quickly and tell everyone what you learned in the process. They feel that there is great value in the lesson rather than beat a dead horse. That concept is taught from the leaders in Israeli companies and passed along to all team members.


Great leaders are great motivators because they help others achieve their rewards.How are great leaders great motivators? Because they help the people who report to them identify an exciting next reward. Most people, who are in positions of authority, usually look at what others can do for them. It’s like wanting the heat out of the fireplace before putting the wood in. Great leaders who are great motivators look at things from another perspective. They look at it from the other person’s point of view and figure out what that person wants. The old saying is I’ll get everything I want out of life when I help enough other people get what they want.

How are great leaders great motivators? They start with identifying their own “Why” first. This would be something frivolous that you would do for YOU in the next few months, a short-term reward. The mind gets motivated by rewards. This is not something for anyone else, not for your family. It’s for YOU! You’ll do more for everybody when you do more for you! It could be a weekend away to somewhere special. Your personal budget for this might be $2,000 or $3,000. Get a picture of this reward, about the size of a business card, laminate it, and look at it the first thing each morning and the last thing each night.

Help the people who report to you do the same thing. Their budget will be less than yours, perhaps $500. Make sure they get a picture, laminate it, and start looking at it each day. Make a note of the rewards each one of your direct reports wants and look for ways to help them get that reward. This is motivation at the very core, what’s in the heart of the people you want to motivate.


Great leaders are great motivators because they show enthusiasm.How are great leaders great motivators? Napoleon Hill, in the famous book “Think and Grow Rich”, said that enthusiasm is the secret sauce that raises some people to a higher level of success than most people.

The word comes from the Greek and it means “God within”. It is the spark that makes other people want to follow you. We like following people who have some fire in their hearts and excitement in their spirit. As the saying goes, genius is always accompanied by ENTHUSIASM!

If you don’t feel like being enthusiastic, keep in mind that the group runs in the speed of the leader. Thus, if you want to be a great leader and a great motivator, you need to show enthusiasm. If you don’t have that now, may I suggest you declare the following affirmation the first thing every morning and the last thing each night? Those are the two times your subconscious mind is most open to suggestion.


“Everything I touch prospers and succeeds. I’m a great leader and a great motivator. I have lots of enthusiasm every day!”

Related Article: 15 Ways to Improve Your Attitude and That of Those Around You

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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger



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