I worked at the IT department of a company. This IT department hires 3 university students every 8 months. When I was working, one of the students (sat in the cubicle behind me) used to slack quite a bit - he'd just sit there with his eyes closed in his cubicle. (I'll refer to this student as the slacker).
The other student (sat in the cubicle beside me) is hard working but not an amazing programmer so is inefficient. She genuinely tries to work, but in the end, her skills in programming aren't amazing and she is shy and lacks communication skills. (I'll refer to this student as the girl). All three of us are in the same department and sit right beside each other but we work on completely different projects.
During the exit interview, my manager said that the one weakness I had was leadership skills. He said that although I myself am an extremely efficient worker, I need to motivate the workers around me and get them to like working as well. I need to motivate them to like their jobs, and help them out. He said that leaders make leaders and it's something I should work on.
I'm not sure what I could have done to motivate the students around me. This was my situation:
Slacker is 21 years old and just gossips all the time (he's the typical student). I'm a student as well and I know very well how to be good friends with him, but I have no idea how to motivate him to get work done.
During lunch, us three would hang out with 4 other students from other departments. We're just a bunch of students hanging out, so no one really motivates each other when it comes to work. The students just tell stories about their lives (nothing wrong with this) but they also laugh about how slacker tries sleeping at work and barely gets work done but still gets paid (this makes a kid 'cool' apparently), so the laughing encourages him.
I am really good friends with them, so I know that if I behave the correct way, I can have an influence on them. I just don't know how I should behave to inspire and motivate them to do work, especially considering that at lunch, the group of friends we hang out with laugh with him about how he slacks. Also, we all work on different projects so I can't assign them tasks and give deadlines.
My mindset used to be "if they aren't interested in producing work and don't have the skills, they need to help / get themselves motivated first before others can help them".
Now this would be an ideal worker: a highly efficient worker who motivates and makes the workers around him more efficient as well. But it's a lot harder than it sounds.
Can anyone give me advice as to how I can improve my leadership skills and motivate the workers around me to be overall better workers? In particular, how do I get the slacker to start getting work done and liking his job, and how do I get the hard working girl (but not so great programmer) to be more efficient and improve her communication skills?