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In every organization, an individual takes up leadership position and becomes in charge of several subordinates. Such a leader is very important to both the organization and the subordinates. This essay seeks to show that a leader can show direction to subordinates by providing motivation and inspiration to the subordinates in order to achieve organizational goals.
A leader must have a goal in mind in order to exert influence on subordinates and consequently achieve a particular purpose. In the military, leaders start their endeavors with an end in mind. Such goals may be specific like boosting the morale of a unit while other goals may be general and may not be quantifiable but have validity and meaning.
Purpose, Motivation and Inspiration
Purpose refers to the goals that the leader and the organization in general seek to fulfill. Such a purpose is achievable through the subordinates who have the skills and knowledge to carry out the required tasks. At minimum, the leader expects the subordinates to carry out their roles diligently and as per the parameters set by the organization. On the other hand, the subordinates expect the leadership to provide them with a proper working environment and treatment.
Such environment calls for motivation and inspiration. These two components provide the energy needed to make sure that they achieve the purpose. With these in place, the leader can easily provide direction, which involves showing the subordinates what methods to use to achieve the envisaged objective. It suffices to give the subordinates such direction at the beginning and maybe remind them later on since they must be qualified for such tasks and know what is required of them. A mission statement spells the direction and should be brief and to the point.
Leaders endeavor to provide purpose through allocation of duties and responsibilities as well as the best methods to carry out such duties. The leadership expects the subordinates to follow regulations while maintaining focus at the same time. A mission statement works well with a vision since a vision spells out the long term goals of the organization.
Motivation is that inner yearning to fulfill a certain goal. Subordinates have personal goals like survival and security while the leadership sets organizational goals for the subordinates to fulfill. If the personal needs of the subordinates remain unfulfilled, the subordinates may fail to fulfill the organizational goals. As such, a leader must understand and assist the subordinates to meet their personal goals. Such motivated subordinates will then carry their task in the best way possible.
A leader who understands what motivates the subordinates easily influences the subordinates and in this case, the leader may know who among the subordinates has a greater say among the others. Such a subordinate acts as an opinion leader among the subordinates. The leader should use such a person to influence the rest of the subordinates. In other words, the leader must understand how and when motivation works.
Overall, human beings are hard to understand and predict. As such, the leader may not know all the needs of the subordinate but the leader needs to understand some basics that relate to motivation. The individual and the circumstance influence motivation. The individual refers to the subordinates or the people expected to carry out tasks by offering their knowledge and skills. Their personal disposition also matter as well as their belief systems.
On the other hand, circumstance refers to the working environment, which includes the physical structures, codes of ethics, standard operating procedures, the organization culture as well as remuneration. To motivate such individuals, the leader has to influence the subordinate and the circumstance, the leader has to provide a good environment and take care of the subordinate.
Motivation can take the form of reward or punishment. Reward refers to incentives like promotions to the next rank, which motivates a subordinate in a positive way. Punishment motives the subordinate in a negative way and takes place when a subordinate has acted in a way that goes against the norms. The leader therefore issues threats to the subordinate and states possible consequences if the subordinate repeats his mistakes. Such consequences may include demotion or dismissal from the force.
Inspiration has to do with the emotions of an individual and it enhances motivation. A leader provides inspiration through illustrations on how possible it is to achieve future goals by creating images in the minds of the subordinates. For instance, narratives of people who have achieved their set targets and rose in rank in the organization would work to instill inspiration in the subordinates. However, the leader must take care to balance the images so that they are not emotionally detrimental to the individual.
A leader knows the direction an organization should take and what means to utilize to achieve those goals. Some of the means include the subordinates who need motivation and inspiration to achieve the set goals. Motivation and inspiration result from a proper working environment and taking care of the personal needs of the subordinates.