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Leadership Skills: How top leaders motivate their teams

leadership skills

Motivation is a key element of good leadership. That’s why some of the world’s finest business leaders are also the best motivators.

They encourage their employees to excel in whatever they do with a highly effective combination of incentive, encouragement and inspiration.

Clearly, it makes good business sense to keep employees motivated. Here’s how some of the tallest business leaders do that job.

1. Mark Zuckerberg
Much has been written about the 32-year-old Facebook CEO’s motivational methods, including how he is completely approachable, believes in removing barriers among employees, and does not have time for pointless traditions. Zuckerberg is also generous with perks and believes in empowering his employees. Famously, he sits in a cabin with glass walls to signal to his team that that he is available should they ever need him. All of which add up to make Zuckerberg one of the most admired tech CEOs in the world.

2. Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum
Also known as Sheikh Mohammad, the current Prime Minister and Vice-President of Dubai is also the owner of Dubai Holdings with interests in Dubai Healthcare City and the Jumeirah Group, among others. He motivates those who work under him by inspiring them to be nothing less than No. 1. “We, in the UAE, have no such word as ‘impossible’; it does not exist in our lexicon. Such a word is used by the lazy and the weak, who fear challenges and progress. When one doubts his potential and capabilities as well as his confidence, he will lose the compass that leads him to success and excellence,” he has said.

3. Richard Branson
The flashy Virgin Group founder seems to have worked out what keeps employees happy to the level of a formula. His advice? Well-designed office spaces with ample natural light, work that stimulates employees, a credible rewards system and a focus on health. More importantly, he makes it a point to keep workers invested in the company through various methods. And of course, he celebrates the achievements of his employees like nobody else does—or can!

4. Vineet Nayar
The erstwhile HCL CEO did the unthinkable when, in his quest to make the company more competitive in the 2000s, he turned the traditional management structure upside down, placing power in the hands of the workers. This philosophy, which came to be known as the “Employee First, Customer Second” policy, led to phenomenal growth in HCL, leading to profits even during the challenging recessionary years of the late 2000s. On the ground, the policy meant making managers and enabling services—like HR and Finance—accountable to frontline employees.

5. Azim Premji
Azim Premji took a $2 million hydrogenated cooking oil company and turned it into a $7 billion business with offices in 60 countries. His mantra for success? An unflinching commitment to values. The Wipro chief is a strong believer in the fact that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things when they work in a motivated environment and take a personal interest in their jobs. In addition, Premji puts great emphasis on the pursuit of excellence.

Better productivity, lower levels of absenteeism, lower turnover and a positive environment are some of the advantages that motivation brings to an organization. The best business leaders understand the true value of a happy workforce. As a result, each of them have found their unique way to motivate employees so that all of them work as a team for the greater good of the organization.