There are different types of teams in the world. Each team is lead by a leader. Some teams are wildly successful. Everything they touch turns to gold. While other teams seem to wallow in mediocrity, never rising above the norm.
What makes teams so different? One difference is the level of motivation. The successful team appears to be brimming with motivation. Get out of their way, because they are steaming towards their goal! While the other team seems to be only going through the motions.
I’ve heard it said that motivation comes from within. This is true. The sign of a great leader is one who will find this motivation lurking inside each individual and pull it out of them with gusto.
I’ve had leaders ask, “how can I reach this motivation. I’ve tried contests and money rewards and I can’t seem to get them motivated.” Contest and money doesn’t work for everyone or every situation. Some occupations work better with these kinds of rewards. Some personalities respond better to competition and fiscal rewards. If you have competitive action personalities on your team, they are more likely to work for those kinds of incentives.
The more creative the project, the less likely contest and rewards will work. For these creative projects, we need to roll up our sleeves and use a completely different approach.
Get your team actively involved in the crusade
The most successful people in business and life are those with a cause. Something they can believe in and commit to. People will work harder for a crusade or cause then they will for money. The great leaders have discovered their own crusade and how it’s going to make people’s lives better. It could be righting a wrong, or they’re working to make the world a better place.
A great leader figures out the crusade and then gets their team’s emotions involved with this crusade every day. Great leaders understand that people respond to directing their own lives. These leaders, also, recognize and respond to their team’s individual initiatives in moving the crusade forward. Everyone wants to be a part of changing the world. People will work harder to be a part of history.
Leaders must be in touch with their own dreams and goals.
The leader should recognize each member of the team’s strengths and how these strengths can fit into the big dream. The leader should know the steps it will take to reach the dream, but never discourage anyone on the team’s contributions. Individual initiatives may even discover a better way to accomplish the goals. The dream needs to be big enough for everyone on the team to have an active part in it.
Everybody wants to be somebody.
Not only do they want to be somebody, but they have the desire to get better and better at something that really matters. Everyone wants to be remember in the history of the world, at least in their world. We must never forget this desire when we lead our teams.
To create an explosion of viral motivation, we will need to inspire those around us to reach inside of themselves and pull out the best they can be. People’s desire to be involved in something bigger than themselves and fight for something they believe in is a strong motivating force. We can look for the best in our team and encourage them to make a difference each and every day.
I have a video of Dan Pink’s talk at Ted on motivation. He brings some surprising things to light. They are controversial things which most business don’t believe or don’t know about. I’ve worked in sales fields where we were compensated monetarily. At first, I didn’t agree with him (as if my research department is bigger than his). After contemplation, I can see how this fits. Leave me your comment and let me know your thoughts.
- How to Motivate Sales Reps (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- 5 Tips to Motivate Your Project Team (martinwebster.eu)