Name: Kyle Newsom
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Position/Job: Retail Sales Manager
1. Think back to when you were extremely motivated by a boss, leader, or teammate. What did they say or do that motivated you so much and why did it work?
When I was working toward becoming endorsed for my current position my boss at the time trusted me to develop and execute a plan for a big event. He reported back to me after his management meeting to let me know that his boss was impressed with “his” work and wanted the rest of the management team to start turning in their “action plans” the same way. He immediately explained that the work was not his but mine and that he had given me zero input on what I should do when formulating a plan. It was motivating to know my talents were being recognized.
2. When have you been very unmotivated by a boss, leader, or teammate? Why did it create a feeling of un-motivation to do your job better?
There was a time I went to a boss with an idea to improve a process. I spent a good deal of time researching the pros and cons of my idea before presenting it. I scheduled time to meet with my boss and his first response to my idea was, “We’re not going to do that. Is there anything else?” I felt as if my idea wasn’t heard. I felt unimportant. I felt unmotivated.
3. What is one characteristic you look for in an effective leader?
An effective leader is present. An effective leader leads from the front and must work side by side to have a clear understanding of his/her team’s needs.
4. When have you motivated another person to better themselves or to be more productive in their job?
I have a very competitive staff. They are competitive to sale, to receive good customer reviews, and to generally outshine every other department. I used this competitive spirit to motivate one of my staff to work toward her endorsement for management. The first thing I assigned to my endorsement candidate was an overhaul of our department’s communication board. She asked me how best to approach this task and my response was, “no rules, just do it better than I did.” The result was something I would have never thought of doing and 6 months later she was endorsed for management (faster than I had made the transition).
5. What is one piece of advice you’d give towards aspiring leaders?
Pass off the credit and take the blame!
When your boss commends you for a job well done, blame it on your team. When your boss comes down on you for something your team did wrong, learn the following phrase; “This was my fault because I failed to set clear expectations. I will make sure I do a better job communicating my expectations to the team so this does not continue to happen.” Your team will know when you are passing on the credit and your boss will respect you for taking the blame.
Every week, we ask 5 questions to a different person. The questions remain the same but the people change. Some people are leaders, some are followers, but all have valuable input.