Ignite the Fire Within

As the snow rolls in to Pittsburgh and I think of building a fire, I am reminded of a saying that one of my colleagues shared with me last week.  This came from a leader for whom I have great respect.  He treats people with kindness, cares about his employees and customers, and holds people accountable.  So whenever he speaks, I pay close attention.

Last week he was talking about the difference between managers and leaders.  He told me that managers know how to light a fire under their employees to get them moving.  But leaders know how to ignite a fire within, so employees get moving on their own.

This is a simple but meaningful phrase.  It helps to remind us that the most effective leaders have the ability to motivate others.  They don’t need to push.  They paint a clear picture of where they want the organization to go and clearly define the goals and expectations of performance.  Then these leaders motivate their teams to pursue this vision.  These leaders ignite a fire within.

Many of us will be dealing with cold and snow this week.  So it will be easy to think about lighting a fire.  But even those of you in the warmer south can make this your goal.  Instead of lighting a fire under your employees, work this week to ignite a fire within.  Be motivating.  Be encouraging.  Communicate the vision.  Be clear about the expectations.  Recognize positive behaviors and performance.  And that fire is sure to keep burning!

Thanks for reading,

Jim

P.S. – Check out my website at http://www.jvearle.com and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog – http://www.jvearle.wordpress.com
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Website – http://www.jvearle.com

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