You motivate everyone around you every day whether you know it or not. Motivation can be a positive force or a negative force. They key to success in motivation is to recognize its power and use it to positively change the lives of everyone on your team.
Successful leadership relies on motivating your team to accomplish the goals you have set.
Lee Iacocca said this: “Management is nothing more than motivating other people“
Purposeful motivation is not a one-time event. It isn’t something you set in motion and let it run. You can’t just delegate motivation to someone else. As a successful leader, motivation is your number one job.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”~ Zig Ziglar
As basic to life as a shower is, so is motivation to leadership. You just can’t lead without it.
The In’s and Out’s of Motivation
There are two types of motivation: Positive and Negative Motivation.
Positive motivation works by drawing people in. Negative motivation works by pushing people out.
Let’s examine both of these types of motivations to see how they work toward organizational excellence.
On Positive Motivation
Congratulation, Celebration, and Cultivation will bring Calibration
To motivate your team to succeed:
- Congratulate members on their positive outcomes
- Celebrate positive movement towards the goal with the whole team
- Cultivate the strengths of each person on your team
- If you do these things, they will Calibrate their behavior to your expectations
“If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance.” ~ Andrea Boydston
Every day each member of your team does something worthy of your congratulations. Let’s start with showing up for work. Do you say good morning as you walk in the door? This makes for a great way to start the day. Wouldn’t you like to hear someone say, “Thank you for allowing us to benefit from your strengths today?”
Then there are the obvious ones like completing projects on time, facilitating a meeting well, giving a presentation to the executives.
Nothing says thank you like saying thank you. It’s that simple.
“There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate.” ~ Robert Brault
Somewhere near the end of a year, each team will be establishing its goals for the following year. These goals usually define success as accomplishing something by year-end: sales goals, profit goals, new customer goals, etc.
The leader sets the vision for how the team will accomplish its goals.
It’s hard to stay motivated if the goals are something that can only be achieved twelve months in the future. Help your team stay motivated by breaking the year-end goals into smaller pieces: quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Then you can celebrate reaching goals not just at the end of the year, but at the end of each day, week, month, and quarter.
“Mentor, mentor, mentor. Encourage and cultivate the next generation of leaders” ~ Tom Peters
It is human nature to grow, to become better every day. A leader can tap into that desire and provide opportunities for their team to achieve greater and greater success. Investing time with your team through mentoring is an essential component to motivation.
cal·i·brate [ kálli bràyt ] Noun: To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard. – American Heritage Dictionary
As your team sees their success, they will model their behavior after yours. Through your motivation, a cycle of expanding success is started.
On Negative Motivation
Domination and Denigration will bring Repudiation
To motivate people to fail:
- Dominate each discussion with only your opinions
- Denigrate individuals by focusing on every misstep and weakness
- And they will Repudiate your behavior and leave
“Your job is to make the best decision, not to decide.” – Jamie Dimon
There is a limit to the knowledge of any one person. The leader who limits decision to only their opinion will see their team lose interest in offering differing thoughts that many times are better thoughts.
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations” ~ Steve Jobs
The only way to never make mistakes is to never try. The leader who disparages their team for mistakes will soon find the team stops trying.
“Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life” ~ Napoleon Hill
Loyalty is a two-way street. But it starts with the leader being loyal to the team. Negative motivation is a sure way to eliminate loyalty, and ensure failure.
So what are some of the ways you can learn to positively motivate your teams toward achieving excellence in their daily work? What are some of the tricks and techniques that have worked best for you? Conversely, what have you seen in your workplace that has soured the mood and made people leave? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Image Sources: michael-whitehead.com.au