Leadership Styles - 5 Tips From the Guru

Sometimes I feel like the guy who's climbed the

distant Himalayan peak to sit at the feet of the guru and discover the

keys to the meaning of life the universe and everything.

In my

view, in the world of change management and leadership and

inspirational motivation Jon Katzenbach, CEO of Katzenbach Partners, is

such a guru - well at least in sphere of business.

He has built a

career out of figuring out how the to inspire people. [The Discipline

of Teams and The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance


Katzenbach argues that the key to encouraging

people via inspirational motivation has more to do with figuring out

how to connect them emotionally to their work than throwing money or

promotions at them. Also figuring out how to work with and through the

informal social structures of the workplace

He says that in every

organisation, there are communities of common interest that exist. For

example, people who smoke gather together wherever they can smoke;

people of different gender and ethnic backgrounds tend to form


It helps if you're tuned in to using some of the informal aspects of your organisation along with the formal.


course I appreciate that this is going take many directors and senior

managers out of their Myers - Briggs ENTJ profiled comfort zones - I

know this and I am saying this because I have exactly the same tendency


It is all to easy for us to fall back on the formal

elements that we can control - typical management stuff like changing

objectives, changing programmes, changing incentives, changing

structures, redesigning processes etc.

So all of this may change the cost structure and streamline the processes but it won't motivate your people.


address the emotional challenge, you have to actively influence the

informal interactions of the organisation, rather than sitting back and

watching it or even worse, undermining its positive influence.


my view, managing in this different world will put a premium on

actively influencing the informal elements in ways that complement and

accelerate the formal efforts.

Katzenbach highlights the following themes:

(1) Personalize the workplace


all about making and demonstrating a personal commitment by getting

involved and truly understanding what your staff are doing on a daily

basis to make the workplace a productive and effective environment.

The focus here is on the emotional connection you make with each individual - true inspirational motivation.

(2) Always have your compass set on pride, not money.


says that an emphasis on connecting with, learning from, and listening

to your staff will repay itself many times over. You must value their

ideas and their knowledge and have confidence in their ability to get

the job done.

It shows that you really care and that they really

matter. Again, it's the little things you do every day and demonstrate

through your own behaviors that make the difference in establishing

pride throughout the organization.

(3) Localize


down as far down in the organisation as possible. Getting to the

frontline employee and understanding how he or she thinks and acts,

works, and behaves is critical. Knowing family ties and engaging in

community events outside the workplace can also prove enormously


(4) Make your messages simple, direct, and meaningful.

When speaking to your staff, make your messages simple, direct, and meaningful. Always clarify what matters and why it matters.

(5) Find the Master Motivators


practical way to do that is to go right down to the front line and find

what Katzenbach calls the master motivators who are already recognized

for their unique ability to gain the emotional commitment of their

people those intuitively provide inspirational motivation - those who

intuitively make better use of informal networks and communities of

common interest than most good managers do.

No matter how bad

things are, there's a master motivator down there who is taking care of

his people by focusing them on the work they have to do each and every

day, and finding a way to make them feel good about it.


suggests that if you can find a handful of those, they're very

insightful about what can work under today's difficult conditions.


applied in a change management context, this emphasis on informal

networks and the informal aspects of the business is exactly what a

people-oriented leadership style will deliver when employing the

holistic and wide view perspective of a programme based approach to

change management.


Equip yourself to avoid the 70% failure rate of all change initiatives with the Practitioners' Masterclass - Leading your people through change, putting it all together and managing the whole messy business."

Stephen Warrilow, based in Bristol, works with companies across the UK providing specialist support to directors delivery significant change initiatives. St...

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