How Great Leaders Get The Best Out Of People


by Kevin Watson



Ever noticed that great leaders seem to effortlessly get the best out of people?

They appear to provide just the right kind of motivation, without even trying!

How do they do this?

Perhaps the answer lies in their ability to appreciate other peoples’ styles and knowing how to adapt their own behaviour to rapidly establish trust.

Great leaders flex their approach and adopt an appropriate style with each person they interact with.

But there’s more to it than that.

To get the best out of people, truly great leaders show a deep, genuine interest in people, seeking to understand what makes them tick.

Like what’s important to them, what they hold to be true and the assumptions they make.

“A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” M.D. Arnold

Their Values

Values are all about what is important and what is good or bad for us.

Because values are about things that are important to us, they have a great impact on our motivation.

For example, if one of your team values security and you value adventure, you might not see eye to eye when it comes to implementing a new pay structure based upon commission alone!

Here is a question for you – what do you value most?

If someone had to get the best out of you, how could they do this by knowing what you value most?

Their Beliefs

A belief is a feeling of certainty of what something means to us. All human behaviour is belief driven.

Beliefs are the presuppositions that we have about the way the world is. Depending upon what they are, they can either enable or disable us.

Beliefs are essentially our on / off switch for our ability to do anything in the world.

There’s an old saying that goes something like “whether you believe you can or you believe you cannot, you’re absolutely right“.

When communicating with someone it is important to elicit their beliefs of WHY they have done what they have done.

On the flip side, when getting the best from someone, you might also want to find out the disempowering beliefs that have stopped him or her from doing what they want to do.

Call to Action

Here’s something you can do to get the best out of people.

When next called upon to motivate someone in your team, ask yourself one of these simple questions:

  • how can I get the best out of this person by knowing what he/she values most? Or,
  • what does this person believe to be true that is stopping them being at their best?


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About the Author

Kevin Watson

Kevin is a highly experienced Leadership Coach and acts as Consultant to several boards of global organisations, as well as local business owners. He is passionate about making a difference by enabling and encouraging leaders who want to create and sustain meaningful change in themselves and the organisation.



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