Magazine Article | February 25, 2015

Give Employees Something to Believe In

Source: Life Science Leader

By Jessica Melore, international motivational speaker and public health ambassador for health organizations and Fortune 1000 companies.

In today’s world, the constant influx of social media, traditional media, texts, phone calls, and an ever-accumulating to-do list has not only shortened our attention spans, it’s forced us to heighten our filters on who and what we can truly trust and value. Whether communicating the benefits of a product or simply trying to keep employees motivated, how do we reach them? Give them something to believe in. People respond to what they feel is genuine. It might be an investment in a leader, a product, an organization, or a mindset they have never considered before, but if you can demonstrate that you have their best interests in mind, and that you believe in what you’re proposing, they’ll be more likely to listen.

Business Is Personal

As the recipient of a life-saving heart transplant at the age of 16, organ donation for me is personal. When I talk about it with people, I try to make it personal for them by asking how they would feel if a loved one needed an organ. I disagree with the saying, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Your business should be personal. If you want to give your team something to believe in and take a more personal interest, try incorporating the following components into your communications:

Vision: Today’s successful leaders don’t just evolve with the changing times, they lead the revolutions by creating and executing visions others can relate to. A well-developed vision that is timely, relevant, promotes innovation, and will directly or indirectly benefit your audience will give them something worth believing. Manage expectations by putting it in the global perspective: if your audience won’t see immediate results, share how this new direction will benefit them on a broader scale in the long-term.

Empathy: Demonstrating an understanding of the challenges your team faces, either from observation, intensive research, and ideally, first-hand experience is important to gaining believers on your team. Creating an environment that fosters open and honest communication will help your team feel that they their voices are heard and aid you in working together to find a solution.

Commitment/Investment: These factors must go hand in hand. You can be committed to a project by going through the daily motions without putting forth the psychological, emotional, and financial investment to make it a true success. You can also be deeply invested without committing the time or discipline to getting it done. If you want your team to be motivated and personally invested in their efforts, you need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do the same.

Humility/Flexibility: People value success, but they value transparency even more. Leaders who have the ability to admit failures and shortcomings can be endearing and win more admirers. It also takes flexibility — a willingness to make adjustments to better respond to the needs of your team — to win you commitment.

Personal Motivation:  You may be doing all the right things. However, conveying your enthusiasm for your idea makes all the difference. Talk about why it makes you excited to get up in the morning. Tell the stories of the people or entities your idea, products or services will impact now and in the future.

People invest in ideas that are inspiring, well-thought out, and backed with passion and commitment, but they also invest in people  A leader who makes a message personal, and who shows personal investment, can translate thoughts into movements.

A survivor of a massive heart attack, heart transplant, leg amputation, and two bouts of cancer, Jessica Melore is an international motivational speaker and public health ambassador for health organizations and Fortune 1000 companies worldwide. For more information, visit, @jessicamelore, and