Give People A Reason To Care About Your Vision

Self interest is your most useful tool for motivation. (Excerpt from Unite The Tribes: Leadership Skills for Technology Managers)

Nobody gives a rat's rear end about your company. They couldn't care less about your dreams, your plans or your initiatives. They care about themselves. While this may sound like a terrible thing to say about all those nice folks you work with, it's nothing of the sort. That's just the nature of the human species. In fact, it's pretty much the short definition of all life on Earth. I don't fault the sky for being blue, the water for being wet or people for caring about their own lives. Neither should you. In fact, you should embrace it.

Once you start thinking from the perspective of self interest, you're in a much better position to achieve your goals. You need the support and talents of others in order to bring your dreams to life. All you have to do to receive it is show people why they should care. Translate the results of getting behind your plan into a personal benefit for them and you'll have their complete and undivided attention.

No matter who you're dealing with, as a leader it's your job to also be a translator. A prosperous empire has more goodies to share with the inhabitants than a poor and struggling one, so obviously there's a benefit to supporting it. That said, don't count on most people to see this. They may be an expert in what they do but that doesn't mean they're visionaries. If you want their support, you have to lay it out for them in a language that they'll understand. It may be a little more work on your part but it's absolutely worth it.

Like any other skill, all it takes is time and effort to become adept. You'll find that it's a very gratifying talent to possess. When you learn to reach people on this very fundamental level, you'll have more enthusiasm behind your goals than you ever imagined possible.

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