Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Guest Post: How to Encourage Your Team Members to Stand Up and Lead


By Andrea Gordon

To be successful in today’s market, team members need to step up and be ready to take a leadership role. It is not easy to develop leadership skills in others, however, so it’s very important to understand that some people do not share your goals and aspirations. Keep an open mind and learn to use varied techniques to inspire different team members to stand up and lead. 

1.    Challenge – Issue a challenge. (In today’s market environment, you probably have many challenges to issue!) Some people need a specific challenge to motivate them. By laying down a challenge, you also create a very clear and measurable goal for a staff member to achieve.

2.    Appeal to noble motives – Many employees think that their work does not make a difference. By appealing to a team’s noble motives, you can increase morale while also setting higher standards for your staff members.

3.    Be sympathetic – Never tell someone that they are wrong. Even when you disagree, listen and be empathetic to another person’s ideas and desires.

4.    Evidence – Back up your ideas with proof. By providing evidence, you can give instant credibility to your ideas. If you have evidence, even staff members who have a different perspective will take notice.

5.    Listen – Listen to what your staff members have to say. Some employees may not want to reach top corporate positions; instead, they may simply be content if their opinions and ideas are valued.

6.    Ask questions – Instead of giving direct orders, ask questions to guide your staff members to think through the issues and come up with their own solutions.

7.    Value your staff – Make your staff members feel genuinely important. Faced with the market challenges today, your employees must be reassured that their contribution and leadership DOES have a huge impact on the company’s survival, stability, and growth.

Andrea Gordon and Dale Carnegie Training want to contribute to the online conversation about leadership and business management with the blogging community. Dale Carnegie Training was founded in 1912 by one of America’s most influential speakers and leaders. Today the company continues to work with individuals and businesses to build leadership, public speaking, and management skills that result in success.

5 thoughts on “Guest Post: How to Encourage Your Team Members to Stand Up and Lead

  1. IMHO, number 6 is one of the most undervalued of all leadership techniques.

    Good leaders ask questions and, as you stated so well, let their staff take ownership by coming up with solutions.

    Larry King said “I never learned anything while I was talking.” Good managers, CEO’s, and directors should adopt the same mantra.

    You got me thinking! Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the insights and the quote, Andrew!

    That’s an excellent point. Sometimes these leadership techniques are taken for granted and ignored. The idea may sound so simple that it’s easy to think to one’s self, “Obviously listening is important, of course I listen.”

    But it takes critical thinking and self-examination to be a leader; to be truly willing to quiet his or her thoughts and allow someone else to speak and find a solution.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. These are all great points that we try to tell people over and over. I especially think it’s important for leaders to listen. Sometimes I feel like people in leadership positions think their decisions and opinions are the only right answer and don’t listen to what others say. When that happens they become less of a leader in the eye of the follower. Everyone wants to be heard and a great leader will take time to listen to his peers.

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