After a weekend of brainstorming with some of the brightest and the best, the Counselors Academy members had the opportunity to hear the advice of President and CEO of Bates Communications, Suzanne Bates. The best-selling author addressed the attendees in her speech “Successful Leadership: How to Motivate People to Drive Your Business Forward—Even In Challenging Times.” Bates offered solutions to working past the struggles of a recession, saying that through times such as these a leader’s “only choice is to motivate and inspire.”
Bates spoke about the importance of passion, a sentiment that echoed in the many breakout sessions. She reminded the attendees that “it’s important not only to understand our own passions but what excites our teams as well.”
Purpose and passion are necessary qualities in leaders. Without the ability to effectively communicate visions with employees, inspiration and motivation will be hard to find. Bates explains that leaders need to design their message with their employees in mind, which leads employees to share the same passion that drives the CEO.
“People remember stories, not business plans” says Bates. She explains that public relations professionals often have a hard time telling their own stories, but by refining the “big idea” into powerful stories teams learn to understand how to execute the strategies necessary to succeed. “Leadership is all about teaching through storytelling” says Bates.
Bates also emphasizes the importance of keeping in touch with your employees’ thoughts and feelings, monitoring your own feelings and constantly seeking out fresh ideas to avoid the slump in morale that so easily occurs after the initial excitement of new campaign plans.
“Position yourself for success by understanding what motivates you and your team” Bates emphasizes. “Motivating like a CEO begins with your own inspiration and passion.”
By Emily Randisi and Melissa Kavanagh