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(3) HONEST. If you trick people into taking action or lie to get them to take action, you'll damage that element on which all motivation is based, trust. Afterward, you may be able to order them to do a job, but you will never motivate them. Be honest with yourself in developing your call-to-action. Marcus Aurelius said, "Never esteem anything as an advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect." Be honest with them in challenging them to act. I do not recommend this merely on trustworthy grounds but on eminently practical ones as well. After all, we do not know how good we are as leaders unless we are challenging people to be better than they think they are. And they cannot be persuaded to accept that challenge if they think we're deceiving them or that you are deceiving yourself.
(4) MEANINGFUL. Action gives meaning to emotion your audience feels. Emotion alone cannot get results. It's action that gets results. Action validates emotion, and vice versa.
Leaders who find little meaning in their jobs or results associated with those jobs, shouldn't be leaders, or they should change jobs and/or results. Most leaders understand this. But few leaders understand that meaning also involves jobs of people they are leading and attitudes of those people toward those jobs and results jobs aim for.
Your cause should be meaningful to people who must carry it out. If it is only your cause and not their cause, action they take will get insufficient results. Your cause will be meaningful to them when that actions they take to meet challenges of that cause are solving problems of THEIR needs. So, before you challenge them to take action, identify their needs and problem solving actions.
2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com