do nothing more important than get results.
But you can't get results by yourself. You
need others to help you do it. And the best
way to have other people get results is
not by ordering them but motivating
them. Yet many leaders fail
to motivate people to achieve results because
those leaders misconstrue the concept and
applications of motivation. To understand
motivation and apply it daily, let's understand
its three critical factors. Know these factors
and put them into action
to greatly enhance your abilities to lead
Motivation is physical action.
has common roots with "motor,"
"mobile," etc. .. all words that
denote movement, physical
action. An essential feature of motivation
is physical action. Motivation isn't about
what people think or feel but what they
physically do. When motivating people to
get results, challenge
them to take those actions that will realize
counsel leaders who must motivate individuals
and teams to get results not to deliver
presentations but "leadership talks."
Presentations communicate information..
But when you want to motivate people,
you must do more than simply communicate
information. You must have them believe
in you and take action to follow you.
A key outcome of every leadership
talk must be physical action, physical
action that leads to results.
For instance, I worked with the newly-appointed
director of a large marketing
department who wanted the department to
achieve sizable increases in the results.
However, the employees were a demoralized
bunch who had been clocking tons of overtime
under her predecessor and were feeling
angry that their efforts were not being
recognized by senior
could have tried to order them to get
the increased results. Many leaders do
that. But order-leadership founders in
today's highly competitive, rapidly changing
markets. Organizations are far more competitive
when their employees instead of being
ordered to go from point A to point B
want to go from point A to point B. So
I suggested that she take a first step
in getting the employees to increase results
by motivating those employees to want
to increase results. They would "want
to" when they began to believe in
her leadership. And the first step in
enlisting that belief
was for her to give a number of leadership
talks to the employees.
of her first talks that she planned was
to the department employees in the company's
auditorium. She told me, "I want
them to know that I appreciate the work
they are doing and that I believe that
they can get the results I'm asking of
them. I want them to feel good about themselves."
is not enough," I said. "Feeling
good is not enough. Motivation must take
place. Physical action must take place.
Don't give the talk until you know what
precise action you are going to have happen."
got the idea of having the CEO come into
the room after the talk, shake each employee's
hand, and tell each how much he appreciated
their hard work physical action.
She didn't stop there. After the CEO left,
she challenged each employee to write
down on a piece of paper three specific
things that they needed from her to help
them get the increases in results and
then hand those pieces of paper to her
personally physical action.
you, that leadership talk wasn't magic
dust sprinkled on the employees to instantly
motivate them. (To turn the department
around so that it began achieving sizable
increases in results, she had to give
many leadership talks in the weeks and
months ahead.) But it was a beginning.
Most importantly, it was the right beginning.
Motivation is driven by emotion.
Emotion and motion come from the same
Latin root meaning "to move".
When you want to move people to take action,
engage their emotions. An act of motivation
is an act of emotion. In any strategic
management endeavor, you must make sure
that the people have a strong emotional
commitment to realizing it.
I explained this to the chief marketing
officer of a worldwide services company,
he said, "Now I know why we're not
growing! We senior leaders developed our
marketing strategy in a bunker! He showed
me his "strategy" document.
It was some 40 pages long, single-spaced.
The points it made were logical, consistent,
and comprehensive. It made perfect sense.
That was the trouble. It made perfect,
intellectual sense to the senior leaders.
But it did not make experiential sense
to middle management who had to carry
it out. They had about as much in-put
into the strategy as the window washers
at corporate headquarters. So they sabotaged
it in many innovative ways. Only when
the middle managers were motivated
were emotionally committed to carrying
out the strategy did that strategy
have a real chance to succeed.
Motivation is not what we do to others.
It is what others do to themselves. The
English language does not accurately depict
the psychological truth
of motivation. The
truth is that we cannot motivate anybody
to do anything. The people we want to
motivate can only motivate themselves.
The motivator and the motivatee are always
the same person. We as leaders communicate,
they motivate. So our "motivating"
others to get results really entails our
creating an environment in which they
motivate themselves to get those results.
For example: a commercial division leader
almost faced a mutiny on his staff when
in a planning session, he put next year's
goals, numbers much higher than the previous
year's, on the overhead. The staff all
but had to be scrapped off the ceiling
after they went ballistic. "We busted
our tails to get these numbers last year.
Now you want us to get much higher numbers?
No way!" He told me. "We can
hit those numbers. I just have to get
gave him my "motivator-and-motivatee-are-the-same-person!"
pitch. I suggested that he create an environment
in which they could motivate themselves.
So he had them assess what activities
got results and what didn't. They discovered
that they spent more than 60 percent of
their time on work that had nothing to
do with getting results. He then had them
develop a plan to eliminate the unnecessary
work. Put in charge of their own destiny,
they got motivated! They developed a great
plan and started to get great results.
the long run, your career success does
not depend on what schools
you went to and what degrees you have.
That success depends instead on your ability
to motivate individuals and teams to get
results. Motivation is like a hig voltage
cable lying at your feet. Use it the wrong
way, and you'll get a serious shock. But
apply motivation the right way by understanding
and using the three factors, plug the
cable in, as it were, and it will serve
you well in many powerful
ways throughout your career.
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