We’re not saying that you must bark orders like an angry Marine drill sergeant. You can lead people to produce better results without yelling, threatening or name-calling. And the more they deliver, the farther and faster you’ll advance.
Here’s a three-step process to get the most from your staff:
1. Clarify your expectations. It’s not enough to set goals. Define what you expect and why it matters.
Begin with an “I expect you to...” statement.
Examples: “I expect you to identify three options and assess the pros and cons of each,” or, “I expect you to produce a mock-up and run enough tests until you’re satisfied it’s the best you can do.”
2. Provide perspective. Next, place your expectations in context to help the employee appreciate the larger issues at stake. Use a “Your work will help us ...” statement. Examples: “Your analysis will help us stay close to our customer,” or, “Your work will enable us to expand our product line at a time when we desperately need to diversify.”
3. Express faith in results. Here’s where you can really motivate someone to go all-out. Close with a “I know you can do this because ...” statement. Emphasize the individual’s stellar track record. If he lacks proven expertise, say, “I know you can do this because you have the sheer drive/discipline to excel.”