“I don’t get these people today,” she said. “What motivates them is not what motivates me.”
“Bingo! They are motivated by something other than what motivates you,” I said. “They’re not buying what you and your CEO are selling, but they’re waiting in line for what Apple’s CEO sells them.”
Last week, I shared part of an experience I had with a frustrated leader who had just discovered that her followers weren’t actually following: team members had tuned out during an important address by the CEO. As the leader and I spoke about the rejection, I emphasized that the problem wasn’t the message, but the delivery.
The rest of our conversation is an excellent introduction to how to better deliver and––most importantly––inspire an audience:
“So why is it that the Apple CEO can get your people’s attention?” I asked her. “Why can he get them to spontaneously clap when he announces a new development or change, while your CEO can’t even get them to tune in?”
“Because what we’re selling does not matter to them,” she said. “It does not motivate them. It doesn’t move them.”
“That’s it!” I replied. “You’ve hit it right on the head. It does not move them.”
I went on to explain that in the modern workplace, people are motivated by emotion and social connection more than by systems and programs. A CEO who expects to motivate people with initiatives and programs will find few followers.
I added, “People don’t by the iPhone because it is the best phone or the best deal. Heck, there are phones that are arguably better than the iPhone, some lower in cost. What people are buying when they purchase the iPhone is social connection: They are now part of the in-crowd––the ‘Apple community.’ That connection gives them a sense of belonging and significance––two very basic emotional needs all human beings have.
“There are emotions associated with all purchases. And selling and leading have that in common: Today, if a leader wants to inspire her team, she must touch people emotionally and connect with them socially.”
Then I shared this Tony Robbins quote with her:
To be able to influence the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions, and the actions of another human being––that’s what leadership is