This summer I had the pleasure of meeting Barry Posner, who wrote a great book with Jim Kouzes. You may be familiar with The Leadership Challenge. In their book, Posner and Kouzes argue that there is a 5-step method to successful leadership: model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart. Eventually I will touch on each of these, likely in longer posts, but today I want to focus briefly on encouraging the heart.
In a recent conversation, I was asked how you lead someone when they are your peer or you do not have any sort of formal authority (hopefully you lead them the same way as someone who reports to you). My response was to encourage the heart. By targeting someone’s positive emotions and creating a passion for the task you are asking of them, you create significant buy in. Creating an emotional connection really drives buy in, and drives buy in for the right reasons. People are drawn to a task/mission for varying reasons, and I will bet that those drawn by emotions have the strongest connection and are the most committed to the end goal. By empowering those around you to pursue the things that are most important to them, you send them on a mission that they will not fail. How can you encourage your peers to internalize your goals and theirs to make them unstoppable?