How to Motivate Others as a Leader

Leaders play an important role in businesses, schools, and other organizations. One of the most important tasks of a leader is to motivate others to achieve common goals. This can be a difficult task, especially when people are feeling discouraged or down. But if you’re able to motivate others successfully, it can make a big difference in their performance and attitude. In this article, you will learn useful tips on how to motivate others as a leader.

Intrinsic motivation vs extrinsic motivation

First, it is important to understand the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation occurs when a person takes action out of internal drive or passion. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, occurs when external factors -such as rewards or punishments- are used to push someone to take action. As a leader, it is important to understand how to use both types of motivation effectively.

How to motivate others as a leader

The difference between a manager and a leader

A project manager handles the tasks that need to be completed for a company to run smoothly. They make sure that the work gets done on time and within budget. Leaders, on the contrary, inspire other team members to do their best work. Leaders encourage people and are passionate about their work and their employees. Motivating people to do their best can increase productivity and create a positive working environment.

Leaders inspire intrinsic motivation

Leaders need to inspire and motivate people intrinsically. This can be done by setting a good example, providing positive reinforcement, and celebrating successes. Leaders need to create an environment where employees feel respected, valued and appreciated. They also need to encourage their team members to challenge themselves, take risks, and pursue their own goals. In addition, leaders need to recognize the successes of their team members and use them as a motivator for others.

Leaders convey a sense of purpose and ownership

Leaders can also motivate people to find meaning in the work they do. This is especially important for employees who view their job as just another task to check off the list. Leaders can show them how their work fits into the bigger picture and give them a sense of ownership in the project.

Leaders show their teams how their daily tasks contribute to larger mission objectives, which gives employees a reason to stay engaged, develop better skills, and take on more responsibility. In this way, leaders help employees to develop a sense of purpose and ownership in their work.

Leaders foster a culture of feedback

Open communication is an important part of leadership motivation. Leaders should create an environment where team members can offer honest and constructive feedback, both positive and negative.

Regular check-ins allow leaders to get timely insight into how employees feel and can encourage a sense of ownership and engagement. Even small things like listening to ideas or concerns can increase employee motivation.

Leaders tap into human nature

Managers focus on the tactical aspects of the job, but great leaders understand employees are human beings with different needs and motivations. They should take the time to build relationships and trust with their teams, listen to what’s important to each person, and give constructive feedback. They recognize team members for their successes and help them stay on track when they face challenges. Leaders understand people need to feel valued and appreciated to be motivated.

Key traits of a motivating leader


Employees are more likely to engage in their work if they trust their manager. Therefore, leaders need to be trustworthy and honest.


Leaders should be clear and concise when communicating with their teams. They should communicate in the most effective way possible.


Leaders should always show sympathy and understanding of their employees’ needs and goals. They should inspire people to perform better by building trust between teams and employees.


Leaders must have a clear vision of what they want their team to do. They should communicate this vision effectively and explain its importance to inspire and motivate their teams.


A leader’s passion for their work is contagious; when leaders are passionate about their work, their teams will be too. Leaders should show enthusiasm for the tasks at hand to motivate employees and keep them engaged to do meaningful work.


Leaders should be inspiring people who encourage creativity and offer support and guidance when needed. This can help boost morale and create an environment that motivates employees to perform at their best.


Leaders should be self-aware and understand their own strengths and weaknesses. This can help them identify areas where they need to improve to better lead their team. They should also have a good understanding of how their team members work, think, and perform to best motivate each individual.

Positive attitude

Leaders should maintain a positive attitude and be an example for their teams. They should recognize mistakes as learning opportunities and celebrate successes. This gives employees a feeling of accomplishment and encourages them to keep trying harder.


Leaders should take responsibility for their decisions, actions, and results to set a good example for their team members. Leaders being accountable shows commitment to the success of the team and encourages them to take responsibility for their work.

Hungry to learn

Leaders should be open to learning new things and trying new approaches. This can help keep their teams motivated by showing them that the leader is eager to grow and develop, which encourages employees to do the same.

Deep listening

Leaders should have deep listening skills to what their team members have to say and be open to different ideas and perspectives. This helps build trust between the leader and their team, which can motivate employees to contribute more effectively.

Acknowledging effort

Leaders should recognize and reward employees for their hard work and dedication. This can be done through verbal praise, thank-you note, or even by offering rewards such as bonuses or compliments. Putting in extra effort to acknowledge effort helps motivate employees and keeps them feeling appreciated.

How to motivate others as a leader

How do you motivate and lead others?

There are many ways to motivate others, but the most effective leaders typically use a combination of methods.

Find your purpose

Leaders should have a clear purpose for themselves and their team. This will help them stay focused and motivated to achieve their goals and inspire others to do the same.

Set realistic expectations

Leaders should set reasonable expectations that are achievable and measurable. When employees understand what is expected of them, they are more likely to be motivated and work hard to reach those expectations.

Encourage growth and development for a positive outcome

Facilitating progress should be the leader’s focus on achieving success for the team. It should be done by continuously encouraging and providing employees with opportunities to learn new skills and grow in their roles. This kind of support helps motivate people and gives them the confidence to take risks.

Provide positive feedback

Leaders should provide positive feedback regularly to help employees grow and reach their goals. This will keep them motivated to do better and strive for excellence. Of course, they should also give constructive criticism when needed.

Create a culture of collaboration

Leaders should foster an environment of collaboration and creativity, where everyone works together towards a positive outcome. The teams will be highly motivated when they feel like they’re part of something bigger and more important.

Be an example

Leaders should lead by example and show the behaviors that they want their team to emulate. This will help employees stay motivated and inspired to achieve their goals.

Appeal to their positive emotions

Leaders should take the time to understand their team members’ emotions and motivate them. People are more enthusiastic when they’re driven by positive emotions such as belonging, achievement, pride, and excitement.

Challenge workers to become better

Leaders should challenge employees to reach their goals and strive for excellence. Meeting expectations cannot inspire people. Challenges inspire successful people when they are pushed out of their comfort zones. This will help every team member feel inspired and engaged, and provide a sense of accomplishment when they reach those goals.

A word from SublimePeople

Leadership is not about giving orders and making people do things. Learning how to motivate others as a leader is an ongoing process that requires dedication and skill. By implementing the strategies discussed in this article, you can create an environment where individuals feel motivated, engaged, and empowered to reach their full potential.

Remember to set clear goals, empower your team, recognize achievements, foster a positive work environment, lead by example, provide growth opportunities, build relationships based on trust, communicate effectively, promote work-life balance, celebrate diversity, and inspire resilience. By prioritizing motivation and taking a proactive approach, you can become a highly effective leader who motivates others and drives success within your organization.