Leading By Persuading People They Don't Have To ... They GET TO

Leaders who can persuade people to understand that instead of having to accomplish tasks, they actually GET to accomplish those tasks are leaders who generally achieve great results.  The author describes the difference between "having to" and "getting to" and provides a practical process to make it happen consistently.

By Brent Filson - 2006

Physicists theorize that the universe is composed of only 20 percent visible matter and 80 percent dark matter.  Dark matter refers to hypothetical matter particles, of unknown composition, that do not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation to be detected directly, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter such as stars and galaxies.
When I read about dark matter, I thought about the organizations I've encountered in my last 21 years of bringing my leadership methodologies to thousands of leaders worldwide.  I've found that most leaders focus on 20 percent surface issues, such as sales and marketing undertakings, logistical dynamics, organizational strategy and tactics, financial activities, human resource efforts, and the like. 
The leaders neglect the deepest and most important realm of all, the realm which determines to a large extent the success or failure of the organization.  That's the 80 percent representing human relationships.  After all, organizations don't succeed or fail but the people of those organizations, people's whose activities are a manifestation of their relationships with one another.  And because of the neglect, organizations don't achieve the results they are capable of.
Mind you, they don't ignore the 80 percent completely.  They give a kind of passing recognition to it.  For instance, they often bring in motivational speakers to pump up employees.  But that misses the point. The point is that to truly come to grips with the motivational dimensions of the 80 percent, organizations need to focus on implementing motivation comprehensively and systematically. Which goes beyond simply getting people motivated.  After all, people who are just motivated are useless to an organization.  The useful people are those who are motivated to take right action for right results. 
This means driving motivational imperatives into the very DNA of the organization's culture.  That activity has challenged leaders from time in memorial. Libraries of books have been written on the subject, and I won't rehash what's already out there.  Let me cut through it all with this simple imperative: cultivate an organization in which people are defined not by what they have to do but what they get to do.
That is all you really know about great relationships and all you need to know. 
This shift from relating to people so they have to do things to relating to people so they get to do them can be one of the most profound shifts any organization undergoes. 
Yet few leaders are aware of the shift or how to go about making it happen -- especially in a comprehensive, systematic way.
The analogy with the universe stops here. We don't know what dark matter and dark energy is.  However, everyone knows this 80 percent because everyone lives this 80 percent every day.  What people don't know is how to harness it to get results.  
There's only one way to make it happen consistently.  Have the people in the organization give Leadership Talks -- lots of them. 
In many books and hundreds of articles, I have described the Leadership Talk.  It's been working for many hundreds of leaders in top companies worldwide for the past 21 years.
Essentially the Leadership Talk is all about not simply communicating information, the way speeches and presentations do, but establishing deep, human, emotional connections with the people – then translating those connections into have the people take action that gets great results. 
Only Leadership Talks can move your relationship with them from ordering them to do a job to having them want to do the job.  That "want to" -- that getting to do things rather than having to do things -- is the crux of delving into the 80 percent realm, which is the very heart of your job and ultimately career success.


2006© The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – Celebrating 25 years of helping leaders of top companies worldwide achieve outstanding results every day. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get his FREE report "7 Steps To Leadership Mastery"