Becoming leaders who inspire and grow those around you

We all aspire to be the kind of leaders who inspire and motivate. At BSG, we were recently joined by Michelle van Staden, a Senior Executive at Nedbank, who shared the lessons she has learned in over a decade of leading teams.

Michelle joined BSGers at Trend Talks, a monthly forum where BSGers collaboratively learn by sharing knowledge either from invited thought leaders from outside the business or subject matter experts from inside BSG. She took BSGers though her thoughts on empowering individuals and inspiring teams to achieve great things, a critical issue within BSG’s people-centric culture.

What motivates people? Money, ego, self-actualisation, status? There are many factors that influence performance and the desire to achieve. Michelle shared that though she acknowledges the value of hygiene factors like money, she found that there are three powerful motivators that have rung true in almost all environments during her 10 years in leadership.

Purpose. Mastery. Autonomy.

Working for a company with a purpose is what has motivated her to stay the course, putting in long hours and going the extra mile. Whenever she faced difficult situations it was the knowledge of the high-level company purpose that allowed her to push through. BSG’s purpose permeates all aspects of the company. Being a proactive force for positive change, putting people before profit and doing significant work that makes a difference for our clients, South Africa and Africa.

Mastery, or the passion to develop a comprehensive knowledge or skill in a particular subject or activity, is at the core of motivation, Michelle indicated. Drawing inspiration from JFK, she encouraged BSGers to have the courage to take on challenges not because they are easy, but specifically because they are difficult. Developing mastery requires you to be in situations that stretch your ability and engage you to grow. In a team context, developing the humbleness to “value all contributors who are excellent at their chosen role” is key.

No one likes to be micromanaged. Giving your people autonomy within the guardrails of the organisation and their skill level is a powerful motivator. Michelle explains that she has encountered many people who ask for mandate and increased responsibility, but end up asking for just enough rope with which to hang themselves. “The way to get mandate and increased autonomy is through developing mastery, improving your understanding of the guardrails within which you operate and proving yourself capable.” Michelle clarifies.

Lastly, Michelle commented on the power of giving and receiving developmental feedback.  She asked BSGers to be open to giving clear and objective feedback, but also have the courage to receive feedback from their ecosystem. BSG uses GrowCo, an organisation-wide conversation based feedback structure that allows BSGers to both give and receive open and honest feedback incrementally based on the goals that each one aspires to. The summary of these conversation resides within BSG’s employee platform MyWorkLife. This Growth mindset feedback culture enables BSGers to accelerate their growth, through heightened awareness of their personal impact and growth.

BSGers engaged in a valuable question and answer session with Michelle during the event
BSGers engaged in a valuable question and answer session with Michelle during the event
BSG CEO, Jurie Schoeman, hands a cheque for R5000, donated by BSG in Michelle's name to Reach for a Dream
BSG CEO, Jurie Schoeman, hands a cheque for R5000, donated by BSG in Michelle's name to Reach for a Dream

Open sharing from an engaging, people-focused leader like Michelle stimulated debate and reinforced the employee value proposition that BSG offers to its people. BSG’s challenge to you; mastering inspiring leadership is a conscious choice that takes energy and focus. Join us to recommit yourself to become a leader who inspires and grows those around you.

Contact Us

We love talking about change. If you've been inspired by anything you've read here, please get in touch.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt