Business Leadership Skills

Engaging and Inspiring Others


Engage your people properly and experience up to 1.7 times your bottom line profit - that’s the message from research reported in Harvard Business Review a few years ago.

This compelling statistic simply has to have authentic organisational leaders asking one question – ‘how can we use business leadership skills to go about effectively engaging our people?’

Here are a few recommendations:

    Talk with your people – notice I did not say ‘talk TO them’. Take time to chat with them with the clear intention of getting to know them more and showing interest in aspects of their lives and any issues they have at work. Put your phone on silent, and tune distractions out. Let them know you are engaged by them and they will more want to be engaged with you.

    Introduce the ‘two jobs principle’ in your workplace. This was a concept developed by Dr. Denis Waitley of the USA and myself when we wrote The Futureproof Corporation back in 1996.

The concept is quite simple, and remarkably effective for engaging people. 

The idea is that everyone in your organisation should be regarded as having two jobs.

The first is the usual work of the hierarchical position where each person works respectfully under a superior in the hierarchy performing a set job description. 


The second is where the person is given a project or specific important task to deliver, often using resources from other departments etc. to assist in the task or project delivery.

In this second role the person charged with delivering the task or project is hierarchically accountable to deliver the outcome for his or her immediate superior, and must also act as project leader managing the input of everyone required to provide input if the required outcome is to be successfully delivered. 


In that project leader role the second job might actually involve giving direction to and managing the input of people senior to them in the organisational hierarchy.

Similarly, people hierarchically positioned above those tasked with delivering a project also have two jobs, the first being to instruct the project person with accountability for delivering the required outcome, and the second to assist as a subordinate where required (and that might mean taking direction from a person hierarchically subordinate) in the delivery of the outcome required.

    Solicit input from your people and let them know when you have acted on it and, if you don’t, explain why not. In other words show you value them.

    Catch them doing something right and tell them how much the organisation appreciates that effort.

    Create a fun but productive working environment. Nothing is worse than working in a boring repetitive job with nothing to give a surge of energy now and again.

    Reward people for innovation. When people feel they can make a difference and are recognised for doing so, they are more likely to motivate themselves to make a difference.

    Inspire. Never lose sight of the fact that motivation is an internal force which compels behaviour. You cannot motivate anyone but yourself. What you can do is inspire others to motivate themselves.

    Nurture the sense that people can achieve more positive outcomes working with your organisation than they ever could by working alone. People want to make a difference in the world – it’s a normal human driver. However, most feel it is beyond their power as an individual to make any significant difference given the huge problems the people of the world currently face.

    To afford people the opportunity to make other peoples lives better – whether it be by offering a truly innovative and much needed product or service at a great price, or by contributing to social solutions via a humble but effective Corporate Social Responsibility project – is tremendously empowering for them, and engagement is the natural consequence of that empowerment.

There are so many ways you can use your business leadership skills to engage your people.

When they decide to become engaged, it is almost a foregone conclusion they will be more ‘engaging’ with your customers and clients.

No wonder the research found engagement of employees to be so effective in bottom line results.

To get more insights regarding engaging your people, you might like to consider the following:

  • An inspirational keynote presentation by Alan Patching at your next corporate conference or meetings
  • One of our in-depth workshops to teach your people new skills. For more information on accredited and not-accredited training seminars we can present for you, visit www.academyaustralia.com
  • A topic specific seminar to introduce new concepts for your people
  • Mentoring and coaching in various areas of professional development, business leadership skills and personal development for your people
  • One-on-one issues resolution sessions where people might benefit from these
  • Conflict resolution sessions can assist when enthusiasm and passion sometimes gets a little out of control

Remember, you can download a number of free e-books from our ‘In a Nutshell’ leadership, project management and marketing series which can be found at www.academyaustralia.com


To discuss how we can assist you with your business leadership skills, contact us now, and we’ll arrange a mutually convenient time to have Alan Patching available for you.



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