Labor DayThe first Monday of September is Labor Day in the United States, a day recognized around the world — albeit on different days and terms (International Workers’ Day or May Day in other countries) -– to celebrate social and economic achievement. It is a time to recharge and refuel, and constitutes a yearly national tribute to advancements in leadership, prosperity, and overall well-being.

So what can we do to honor ourselves and those we lead? Some suggest that the key to sound leadership lies in providing gateways to success, ongoing opportunities to advance and excel. Steve Farber, best-selling author of The Radical Leap and The Radical Edge, writes, “Your own greatness as a leader… lies, paradoxically, in your ability to cause others to be greater than yourself.”

What are you doing to empower your teams? How do you demonstrate faith and drive inspiration? These are questions you can and should ask. Your management style will often dictate what your teams deliver, as well as the extent and spirit with which they push forward. Are you providing the tools they need to make the most of their efforts? Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, thinks you should expect more than others think possible. What is your philosophy?

Brent Filson, author of more than twenty books on business and leadership, believes there are three key factors to leadership motivation and its daily application:

  • Motivation is physical action. Follow up leadership discussions with specific physical action, whether a handshake, personal visit or interactive e-mail exchange.
  • Motivation is driven by emotion. When you want to move people to take action, engage them personally and ensure emotional commitment.
  • Motivation is not what we do to others. It is what others do to themselves. The bottom line is that while leaders communicate, people ultimately self-motivate. Your job is to create an environment which fosters development and results beyond the expectations of yourself or your teams.

We embrace the spirit of Labor Day as we celebrate our teams and inspire them to achieve, advance and excel.

Nina Nets it Out: “The real leader has no need to lead – he is content to point the way.” — Henry Miller. Provide an environment in which your teams can grow and thrive, and the motivated will deliver.