There are so many aspects to leadership and one of the most important variables is people. The #1 leadership book I would recommend to managers and leaders is Drive – The surprising truth about what really motivates us by Daniel H Pink.
Essentially leadership is about leading people because if you’re by yourself and you’re leading yourself – it’s an easy job.
When you have people around you, you have to have the capacity to behave in a way that gets people to follow you, follow direction and align with the things that you need them to. The way that we do that is by understanding what peoples drivers are and what motivates people.
In Dan Pink’s book, he’s compiled between 40 to 50 years research that correlates to creating performance and motivation from a leadership perspective.
He looks at the old school carrot and stick model where we offer a reward when people do things we want or threaten them when they don’t. Pink explains how this feeds extrinsic drives and the limitations of that.
Dan goes on to intrinsic motivation beautifully, where we understand what internally drives people, and how tapping into those internal drivers to get people to do things will maintain performance at a higher level for extended periods of time.
This is also where we’ve learnt money is one of the worst motivators in the world. It increases the propensity for deceit, deception and fraud related behaviours by a factor of about eight times.
In about 80 per cent of cases money is not the way to motivate people. In some cases it causes dysfunctional behaviors and sometimes is demotivating.
Versus when you understand what is important to the individual and then you can align what is important to them with the outcomes you are leading them towards. You’re not gonna have to wave something in front of them (a carrot) to perform. They’re just going to do it naturally and intrinsically because it’s already important to them.
The fastest way to get people to do things is to have them do the things that they would already do.
Drive is one of the best books I’ve read on behaviours, it’s a business leadership book must read.
Hope that helps.