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LEADER AS A SECOND MOTHER TO EMPLOYEES

As a leader, how could you do to motivate employees to work more effective without conflict? This question always comes up in my mind, which pulls me to see a senior creative copywriter to have a deeper understanding about the topic.

“Leader is like a mother who always guides her children in the right direction and also supports them to be more perfect and successful,” said Ms. Nguyen Huyen, the senior copywriter of Notch Company. She started the interview with an interesting and impressive sentence.

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Notch is a digital marketing and media agency that was established in 2008. Huyen is a senior copywriter of Notch Company more than 6 years. She currently is a leader of a small project for the Company.

“Role of a leader and mother are kind of similar”. Huyen shared that mother always protects, takes care, guides and comforts their children to overcome struggles. She just wants the best for her children. Therefore, they can be more mature and success in the future. Similar to mother’s role, you as a creative leader, also has to do almost the same to help them go through any problem and to be more successful.

Huyen shared the four main effective methods that are used to motivate the employees to move forward are “developing personality and capability, creating positive feeling, building relationship, and supporting and guiding”.

Developing Personality And Capability

The requirements to recruit a creative member of a company are “passion and eternity love with creative”. Therefore, each member of creative team has his or her own creative trait, separate ego, own perspective, own definition and special strengths and the peculiar knack for creativity. Creative is a word that carries immense meaning, in which each person is very passionate, interesting and good in different aspects. The responsibility of leader is to encourage creativity from employees (Shin & Zhou 2003). “And the role of the leader is help other team member maintain and develop their personality, natural bent and own passion and also helps them to gain new capabilities that they have not had”, said Nguyen Huyen. For instant, if they are a 2D designer, a leader, you should to help them feel interested in 3D or if they are not good at creative thinking, merely execution, as a leader, you should help them to develop the ability in providing idea.

Creating Positive Feeling       

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At first, as a leader, you need to make your employees feel that they are having a perfect leader, who has a wide knowledge and many experiences, which benefit to learn. Secondly, you should create to your employees an intimate feeling, friendly, willing to share knowledge or help them to improve their skills. So they can be more confortable to work with you. Moreover, a responsible leader, you always make your employees to feel safe and protected in working with you. “Sometimes, my employees have trouble with other department such account team or research team. So, I usually protect my employees by sustaining the reprimand from other teams.” Huyen Nguyen.  Similar to mother’s responsibility, she always protects her children from bad things and also makes them to feel safe when stay by her side.

“People who are doing creative work are very emotional, which may affect the work”. Therefore, as a leader, you have to be good at sensing their emotion in order to support them overcome. By doing that, the work can process through out. “If your members are sneezing, having runny nose or being lovesick, leader must to intervene immediately”, Nguyen Huyen smiles softly.

Building relationship

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In order to build a good relationship, you should to listen and communicate with your employees more. By having a close relationship, creative leader and employees are less intention and conflict (Yukl 2002). Listening your employees is an easy way to motivate them (Lipman 2013). It is also important to listen to your employees. “You have to listen to them. It is a good way to understand more about them as well as showing your carelessness to them if not, they cannot respect you back”, Huyen Nguyen.  “People who are doing creative work, their ego are enormous and they do not like to change their ego,” averred Nguyen Huyen. Before entering to the company, employees determined who they are. So when they have been working for the company, they do not like to change themselves. As a leader, you should have a clever communication to help and use positive words to encourage them to do the best. When they do something wrong, you should be clever in explaining it to them without aggressiveness. Depending on different kind of people that leader will have different way to communicate with them.

Supporting And Guiding

You are always beside and with your employees to build up new creative ideas and also help them to refine their primitive ideas and encourage them to continue thinking, helping them to see your support: “Yes, you can and I’m here to help u reach the point.” Huyen Nguyen. According to Surana and Parikh (2005), the duty of you, as a leader is to provide your employees adequate education and support. Furthermore, a leader always prepares to fight for team member. No matter your team member did something wrong, as a leader, you have to take your member side and go along with them to face every problem.

According to Nguyen Huyen, creativity is not a place to judge thing to be right or wrong. Hence, it is difficult to determine a person doing right or wrong, good or bad. “It can only be considered in term of whether employees follow the direction, understand brief or the work consistent with their forte or not”, claimed Nguyen Huyen. Creative leader just makes sure that his or her employees receive a suitable work and base on the given direction or brief to creative new and suitable ideas. Furthermore, a designer does not know how to sketch so how can you force that person to make a layout based on sketch style. Obviously, that person could make it no beautiful. Therefore, creative leader has responsibility to guide them in the right way. Consequently, leader must be an observant and sensitive person who can be able to provide the suitable job for their employees, direct them to produce efficient job that taking less time and help the team member feel inspired by task.

“The more they feel comfortable and cared at work, the more creative they offer”, Huyen Nguyen said strongly.

Word Count: 1081

Ho Chi Minh 12 May 2013

Interviewed by Nguyen Anh Thu

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References:

Lipman, V. 2013, ‘5 Easy Ways To Motivate- And Demotivate – Employees’, Forbes, viewed 11 May 2013, < http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2013/03/18/5-easy-ways-to-motivate-and-demotivate-employees/&gt;

Shin, S.J. and Zhou, J. 2003, ‘Transformational leadership, conservation, and creativity: evidence from Korea’, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 46 No. 6, pp. 703-14.

Surana, S. & Parikh, D 2005, ‘Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value, IIMB Management Review, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 126-127.

Yukl, G. 2002, Leadership in Organizations, 5th ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

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2 thoughts on “LEADER AS A SECOND MOTHER TO EMPLOYEES

  1. Thank you for your comment. Personally, those shared information were her experience and also from her perspective. Honestly, her given points were a little bit new and sometime difficult to link them to academic papers. By the way, I think this blog is not really academic therefore I had used several words or sentences that sound like speaking. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Thu Nguyen

  2. -Need to have more clearer photos, and a uniformed ‘look and feel’ for the supporting images. Google image is not a correct reference citation.

    -“Huyen shared the four main effective methods” WOULD BE NICE TO KNOW HOW SHE CAME ABOUT THESE METHODS… THROUGHOUT HER EXPERIENCE? FROM A MENTOR? FROM A TRAINING SESSION? FROM HER COMPANY’S ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE?

    -“feel that they are having a perfect leader…” DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT?

    -Overall, you hit the jackpot with such an experienced and sensitive interview subject. Lots of good tips from her.

    -Room for improvement on: the way you write the blog- its like a direct translation of the interview transcript. Even with “quotations” some of the sentences sound like its Huyen speaking instead of you paraphrasing or making your own voice heard… which by the way was not really heard. Lastly, there is a huge gap in linking it to further (new) academic references.

    ~Mel C

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