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7 Ways to Stay Motivated as a Leader

Leading a team can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your career. You’re able to do what you’re passionate about while mentoring and guiding others to achieve their goals.

However, it can sometimes be a challenge to find your own motivation to roll out of bed and motivate others.

How do you stay motivated as a leader when all you want to do is stay in bed?

Unlike your team members, as a manager or team leader, you lack the ability to lean on someone for encouragement and inspiration. Learning how to tap into your intrinsic motivation can help prevent you from running out of steam.

This is most important when you’re in charge of juggling 101 tasks, duties and deadlines.

In the current circumstances, some leaders are more motivated than ever to rise above in these times of turmoil. However, others have been left feeling flat as a pancake.

Tips for self-motivation as leaders

With businesses throughout the world forced to work remotely, managers now have the added pressure of keeping both themselves and their remote teams motivated.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered with these seven easy-to-implement recommendations on how to stay motivated when managing a team.

1. Set yourself 3-5 OKRs

By setting 3-5 Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) you’re able to align your team with multiple ambitious goals that are designed to enhance motivation. The beauty of OKRs is they allow you to not only set broad objectives but also to think of each key step needed to accomplish a certain goal.

If you haven’t heard of the term OKR before or want to learn more on how to implement them into your business, check out this useful definition to help you get started. In a nutshell, OKRs are simple tools used to create engagement around measurable targets.

By having something to work towards, you are more likely to stay on track and be more motivated to hit the ground running. Set objectives that are challenging and inspiring for you and your team.

If you’re interested in learning how to get the most out of your OKRs, check out this article here.

2. Be sure to reward yourself

It’s important to give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve been successful in your role. It can be easy as a leader to focus all your energy on celebrating your team’s achievements while allowing your own to fall by the wayside.

This doesn’t mean you need to go overboard on rewarding yourself every time you get out of bed.

Instead, we’re suggesting you allocate some time to spoil yourself after hitting a certain milestone. Perhaps this could be ordering your favourite Thai, booking a home spa day or treating yourself to that new watch you had your eye on.

Whatever it may be, make sure it’s meaningful so you can feel truly rewarded for a job well done. This will also help you feel motivated to continue kicking goals.

3. Find someone who inspires you

When you lead a team, it’s more than likely that you are the person your employees look up to when they’re in need of a bit of encouragement. However, if you’re the one on top, there’s no one above to lean on.

This is when it is crucial to start looking outside of your company and find someone whose leadership skills inspire you.

Influential figures, like famous leaders from history, motivational speakers or successful entrepreneurs, are a powerful source of motivation from the inspiring stories they tell. Positive role models also help to mould your actions and can have a meaningful impact on your work.

Their stories often serve as motivators to overcome challenges and harness true potential.

Thankfully, finding a role model doesn’t have to be an exhausting task; simply start by searching through your favourite books, documentaries, speeches or TED talks.

4. Maintain a work/life balance

Having a healthy balance between your working and personal life is essential in preventing yourself from becoming demotivated. This most certainly applies to leaders; when you’re running around catering to everyone else’s needs, it’s easy to forget your own.

The bottom line results should never come at the expense of quality of life. Rather, the two ideals should aim to co-exist peacefully so you can provide your mind and body with the downtime needed to fuel motivation.

If you neglect to find a healthy balance between the two, you’ll soon find yourself running out of puff. In senior management positions, a traditional 9-5 work schedule might not always be the case. You may be required to work late into the evening or sacrifice a weekend.

Avoid overworking yourself; setting aside some time for rest and renewal is essential for restoring energy. Do some digging and try to find what it is that helps you unwind and de-tune from the daily stressors of work.

Provided it fits your preferences and lifestyle, this could involve going for a weekly massage, sleeping for an extra couple of hours on a day off, spending quality time connecting with your family or reading a new book.

5. Recognise when to delegate tasks

Whether it is 5 or 50 people working beneath you, leading a team will always involve carrying additional pressures and responsibilities on your shoulders. If you find yourself lacking the motivation to complete a task that your team members are capable of handling themselves, don’t be afraid to delegate.

Remember, this doesn’t mean you should palm off boring jobs to someone else. Instead, if you find yourself overwhelmed by the ever-increasing pile of work on your desk, and one of your team members has a spare free moment, reach out and see if they’d be happy to help.

Just because you’re leading a team does not mean you’re a superhuman capable of finishing everyone’s work. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Too many responsibilities can suffocate creativity and force you into a downward spiral of demotivation.

In these instances, brainstorming and problem-solving techniques are at an all-time low, and your teams will be left wandering aimlessly.

6. Have fun with your team by participating in wellness activities

It’s impossible to expect your employees to be motivated towards their work if their physical and mental health is compromised. The same can be said for leaders.

Spending time with your team and forming collective wellness goals is an excellent way to feel a sense of connectedness and motivation as a group.

Providing you and your team with a strong support network will prevent feelings of demotivation and help encourage greater productivity. Coordinate fun office activities that help promote health and wellness; and be sure to get involved.

Try something like ‘Munch and Learn’ where a healthy lunch is prepared for your team while working together on a project. Another suggestion could be hosting weekly yoga classes outside of the office, find a place where you and your team can go to focus on stretch and deep breathing techniques.

For managers with remote teams, this can be a little challenging as you lack the ability to feed off the energy created from interacting face-to-face. Try to be a little creative – plan some virtual activities that can help improve you and your team’s mental and physical health.

A great example would be to start a step challenge and have some rewards for the person who gets the most steps in for the week.

7. Mentor an Intern

It’s no secret that over time our work can become a little stagnant and repetitive. Finding that passion you had on the first day of the job can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. That’s why we recommend spending time with someone who is just getting started.

Interns are highly motivated to work hard and learn as much as possible. Whether they’re fresh out of university or looking for a career change. Mentoring someone who carries that excitement and determination is an excellent way to reignite the flame within.

With a fresh set of eyes, new ideas and challenging questions, interns will be as valuable to you as you are to them.

Guiding, mentoring and passing on your experience to someone new can help clear out any cobwebs and provide a sense of motivation for the kind of work you do. Watching someone learn and grow within your team is an inspiring feeling in itself.

You get to be right by their side cheering them along for every exciting milestone they hit.

The wrap up

As a leader, it’s essential to keep employees feeling pumped up and ready to work. However, without your own motivation, your team’s overall performance will start to decrease.

No matter who they are or what they do, every person is capable of an off day. There’s nothing wrong with losing heart, feeling tired or drifting away from your work for a period of time, so as long as you know how to motivate yourself to get back on track.

By adopting these seven easy-to-implement recommendations into your lifestyle, you’ll have the strong foundations needed to lead you and your team successfully.

If you’re now feeling motivated and you’re looking to pass these motivating vibes to your team, we can help! Employment Hero has a number of built-in employee engagement tools to help your team thrive.

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