Managing motivation in yourself and in the team you manage can be both rewarding and frustrating. Consider your own experiences and track record of success and not-quite-success.
Lynn Hidy sat down with Tim Ohai and myself to ponder “How do you stay motivated and keep your team motivated?” It’s not the can of worms you think it is. Listen to our entire high-spirited and mindful conversation below.
Motivation ultimately starts with the individual. We have all experienced how difficult it can be to sustain our level of individual motivation as a member of a team. What happens when you also are responsible for motivating your team when your own motivation is compromised, challenged or just plain complacent?
Motivation starts with personal introspection and mindfulness. However, that statement flies in the face of many of the motivation tactics and strategies we see in the sales community. There’s a lot of motivational “cheerleading” out there. Individuals and teams are “motivated” to chase after prizes, fulfill their sales quotas via gamification, make their numbers and earn rewards.
When you ask many people what motivates them, their initial response to your question revolves around pleasing someone else’s idea of what they are supposed to be doing.
There’s no personal fulfillment in that tack. Not all individuals are self-motivated by games, prizes and cheerleading.
A lot of what you and your company regard as motivation is actually de-motivation. Chew on that statement for a while.
Managing motivation, yours and your team’s, revolves around acclimating what’s going on inside of you with what’s going on around you. Yes, there is a yin-yang feel to managing motivation.
Managing motivation, yours and your team’s, has a lot to do with business vision combined with personal vision. True motivation includes your core values, guiding principles, personal and professional ethics and expertise.
Creating and managing motivation is holistic at its core. It’s not a bunch of gimmicks, tricks, teddy bears, nice quotes and superficial stuff.
Understanding what drives your and your team’s motivation involves thoughtful consideration of what drives you to do your best work, under the best circumstances, for the best type of customer that suits your unique set of capabilities that produce extraordinary outcomes.
Yet businesses tend to regard drive as linear, usually in pursuit of some reward (cheerleading prize) due to your behaving the way your organization needs you to behave. How many of you chafe against this linear definition of “drive”?
Recall that managing motivation constantly provides a system of checks and balances between what is going on inside of you (introspection and reflection) with what is going on outside of you (constantly changing market conditions). That is hardly a linear model.
Managing motivation involves understanding the factors which drive you and your team to consistently seek robust, nimble and enduring outcomes for your customers. That is a multi-factorial, non-linear model.
To simplify: there’s a lot of Incoming Poop that can hit your fan from lots of different directions. You have been there. So have I.
How much of this has been a surprise to you and your team?
Managing motivation incorporates taking a 1080 degree, 10,000 foot perspective of your environment. Managing motivation, yours and your team’s, is an introspective-yet- interactive, collaborative, proactive and anticipatory process.
I have given you a lot to ponder. I am not planning on leaving you high and dry on this topic, either. I am looking forward to continuing our conversation.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps teams, startups and businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Workshops and Playbooks create more productive and profitable teams in healthier organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.