With the sheer number of responsibilities continually increasing almost daily, how are you supposed to find time to manage them too? Just like you, your team gets paid to do a job, and wouldn’t it be great if they’d just do it?

While Baby Boomers required very little hand holding, this younger generation doesn’t seem to be able to do anything without a ridiculous amount of it. But it seems that everyone (baby boomers included) is needing a little extra care. This makes sense considering the fears, uncertainty, and doubt associated with the pandemic, not to mention politics and climate change.

Naturally, your biggest need is for them to do their job, right? So, how do you get them to stay focused, and producing excellent results, without always needing you to manage them?

In reality, nearly every leader I’ve met says these words about their employees, “Of course they want to be successful, but…”

… Maybe they’re in the wrong position.

… They’re lazy.

… They just don’t take initiative.


If most people want to be successful, and nearly every leader wants success-oriented employees, why is disengagement leading to the loss of billions every year?

Better yet, how can you use this holiday season to prepare you and your team for your best year in 2021? What is the most effective exercise that will free you from precious hours of managing your team in the coming year?

The good news is that self-motivated people don’t want to be managed – they want to be lead. But how is that different, and what does that have to do with this time freeing exercise that I’m referring to?

Rather than wasting your time managing the details of how they do their work, consider getting the answers to these key questions before the end of 2020:

  1. What’s the most important success you’d like to have in 2021? (Note: this may or may not be related to business. Focus on what’s important to them.)
  2. How will you know you’ve been successful in your career at the end of 2021? What do you need to ensure your success?
  3. What one skill would you like to learn in 2021? What do you need to gain this skill?
  4. What are your top 3 goals you want to achieve by March 31, 2021? Why are those goals important to you, and how can I help you achieve them?
  5. What is one professional experience you want to have in 2021? Why is that experience important to you?

The great news about this exercise is that all you have to do is sit back, listen, and take notes. Just like an auto technician has to take notes on how to make your car function at its best, you have to take notes on the motivational triggers for your employees.

When you get to the bottom of what’s motivating them, you get to go away from managing them and onto helping them reach their goals. (Note: some employees are only going to tell you what they think you want to hear. To avoid that, be sure to ask them why, and refuse to settle for lame answers.)

While I highly encourage you to ask these questions live (virtually if necessary), you can start the conversation by asking them to email their responses to you. Of course, it is critical that they perceive your questions as an authentic interest in their future, so ensure your message comes across that way.

Remember, as Zig Ziglar so famously said, “You can have anything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Find out what they want, help them get it, and then watch as you reach beyond your 2021 goals!

Join The Conversation: What questions did I miss? Got some great ones? Please share!

Misti Burmeister has been solving people problems and empowering leaders for nearly 20 years, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Help your team reach its highest potential at https://MistiBurmeister.com