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During his Oscar presentation Sunday, Bill Murray slid in a clever tribute to Harold Ramis, who died last week. Remembering Ramis’ work – he wrote or starred in so many great comedies featuring endearing, unsavory underdogs – I remembered the infamous scene (below) from “Animal House” where Bluto tries to rally the troops, gives a rousing speech, runs out the door, and nobody follows. That, I realize, is one of our client’s biggest fears
We help our clients evolve from managers in control of everything to leaders that inspire their people. Transitioning from an overseer – making sure that nothing fails, no balls are dropped, and no issues are left unresolved – to the leader who empowers and motivates can be daunting. As each make this switch, most clients have a moment of real insecurity, wondering, “What if, at the end of my motivational ‘rally cry,’ I run out the door – and nobody follows?”
These successful people are exceptional at managing, defending, rationalizing, justifying, controlling, documenting, supervising, budgeting, allocating – all the things that got them the job. We ask them to flex a new, different muscle. We ask them to lead, to set direction, to motivate others, and to create an environment where their people will step up to the challenge without being told what to do or how to do it.
Their fearful vision plays like the scene in “Animal House”: The team is demotivated, the group just got put on “double-secret probation” by Dean Wormer, they’re not showing results, they’re not winning. This is where Bluto (John Belushi) tries to rally the troops with an emotionally engaging and not-entirely-factually-accurate motivational speech, and it doesn’t work. In the end, Bluto’s approach doesn’t just fail, it’s embarrassing – well, it would have embarrassed anyone except Bluto.
But once our clients get over the fear of being Bluto – out front leading with nobody following – they realize that being inspirational is simply a matter of setting direction and communicating importance. Here is how they do it:
STOP trying to manage:
- “How” to do it: directing, allocating, budgeting
- When it’s going to get done
- Who’s going to do it
START asking people:
- “Who wants to help make this happen?”
- “How would you do it?”
- “What are you willing to do to get it done today?”
Read more this article here.
Article by: John Kotter