In Nelson’s day, the Captain’s word was quite literally law. But Nelson himself was known for not flogging his crew, because he understood the truth of the saying “a volunteer is worth ten pressed men”. It was true then, and it’s true today. If we can make people afraid enough of us, we can certainly make them do what we want – but will they do their best? Of course not: they will do just enough to avoid the consequences, and then jump ship at the first opportunity! No; if you want people to do their best, to share your aims and to work as hard as they can in any walk of life, then you must find a way to make them actively WANT to.
So there we have it: every person who does work for you is a volunteer, in that THEY choose how hard and how well they work. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in a sports team, a volunteer group, or a company great or small, the only way to get the best out of people is to be an effective leader. Which is easier said than done.
Sure, there are born leaders – the same sort of people to whom everything seems to come easily – but for the rest of us it is a skill that can be learned. All that is required to start you off is a genuine interest in people, some determination, and the active desire to be a leader.
The benefits are huge: happier, more motivated staff, higher quality work, and increased productivity are the rewards for those who develop the leadership skills to complement their technical expertise. TLC Business Solutions can help leaders at any level through a range of programmes accredited to the Institute of Leadership and Management and supported by the Department of Economic Development.