7 Ways to Motivate a Leader

Have you ever wondered how to motivate a leader? It’s not difficult. Most leader-types share some common traits. They may lead entirely different…they may have different causes and interests…but most leaders are motivated by similar influences.

Here are 7 ways to motivate a leader:

Challenge – If there’s a task that would be a huge accomplishment, you’ll likely grab a leader’s interest. Be careful telling a leader it “can’t be done”, unless you want to see some motivation accelerate. (I wrote about this principle in my life HERE.)

Results – When a leader gets to celebrate a win, he or she will soon want another. Leaders thrive on accomplishments.

Enthusiasm – Leaders are motivated by those who have a passion and drive to achieve. Show a little excitement towards the vision and you’ve likely got a leaders attention.

Risk – Tell a leader something is “dangerous” and he or she is likely motivated to attempt it. Leaders love a challenge.

Change – When things get stale, throw a little change in the mix, and a leader has a new motivation. (I wrote more about this HERE and HERE.)

Chaos - I wrote about this before HERE, and I know it sounds strange, but leaders love to fix things…improve them…make things better. It could even involve conflict or controversy, but a leader loves when situations need a leader.

Dreams – Leaders are visionary. They want to accomplish something bigger than today. The bigger the dream, the bigger the motivation for the leader.

Are you a leader? Which of these motivate you most?

What would you add to my list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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17 thoughts on “7 Ways to Motivate a Leader

  1. It's interesting to think about different leaders you've worked with in the past and which of these motivated them more. For instance, I've worked with the chaos leader … and wow. It can be a challenge.

    I think in the church world, you see much more dream leaders than you do in secular work – that's been my experience, anyway.


    • That's interesting. I've lived in both worlds too and haven't thought about it that way…but I think you're right. Maybe it's the faith element.

    • I like that and I agree Laurinda. The ability to invest in others does motivate me. Thanks!Ron EdmondsonGrace Community ChurchHttp://about.me/ronedmondson

  2. Challenge, Risk, Change, and Dreams are the ones that motivate me the most. If those aren't involved I'm typically not too interested but if they are I'm motivated and love it!
    Twitter: tijuanabecky

    • I'm with you on that. I want each of those or I lose interest. ThanksRon EdmondsonGrace Community ChurchHttp://about.me/ronedmondson

  3. Results are probably my number one motivator.

    Change is also a motivator – but only if it points directly to improved effectiveness or efficiency. Change for the sake of change is unsettling to me.

    What about creative thought? Whenever someone comes to me with a creative way to try something that I hadn't considered before, it motivates me and energizes the whole staff.

  4. Ron,
    Thanks so much for this post! I resonated with everything on your list…especially dreams, chaos, challenge, risk. Being a catalyst for change is like that!
    One of the things I would add to your list is CALL. When a leader is faced with a situation that they feel God has called them to, their motivation will be so strong that they will endure opposition, trials and pain to engage with it.