Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Make Motivation Stick


Motivation is the elusive elixir. Not only does it help people do good work, and do it faster, but it also helps them feel good about it while they're doing it. Yet motivation always seems temporary, fleeting. We call a meeting, bring in a motivational speaker, and fire up the team. Yet, we know it won't last.

What if we could make it last? What if we could make it easy for everyone on your team to stay motivated day in and day out, regardless of what was going on around them? You could expect higher levels of performance from everyone and create a team with an unstoppable can-do attitude.

Despite its elusive nature, motivation is rather simple to understand. Motivation can be defined as a concerted effort to produce a desired result. So let's think about that for a moment. Why would anyone make a concerted effort to produce a result?

Underlying all motivation must be a belief that winning is possible, that the result is attainable. When people stop believing that they can win, that they have little chance for success, their efforts directed at achieving that success fade. However, people can remain motivated day after day when they are playing a game they believe they can win.

Motivation can be made a permanent part of your organization's environment when you provide the three keys that will allow your team members to believe that they can win, that they are unstoppable.

What's the Plan?

The first key is a strategy. A strategy is a best-guess plan that expedites the accomplishment of desired goals. Motivation depends on having a clear path to accomplishing a desired result. It's OK if every detail is not in place and a few variables exist, but the path to success must not be shrouded in fog. However, the plan must be complete enough to permit the belief in a successful end result.

When the plan is in doubt, motivation is ruled out.

While desire is a powerful motivator, so is anger. When Osama bin Laden was linked to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the wrath of angry Americans was focused on him. Emotions were high, and it would have been easy to fill an airplane bound for Afghanistan to hunt him down.

If you were on that plane, imagine how your excitement and motivation would soon fade when you learned that the "plan" was to drop you into Afghanistan and let you figure out how to find Osama. Without a clear path for getting past the enemy and finding bin Laden, your early determination would soon turn to despair. We all need a plan that we believe can work.

It's Tool Time!

The second key to motivation is tools. To stay motivated, individuals must believe that they have access to the tools they need to execute the plan. No matter how wonderful the plan, excitement will fade as soon as people discover that resources are inadequate to permit delivery of the goods.

This is the common de-motivator present in the "do more with less" admonition. Expectations of employees are raised and more is expected while resources are systematically removed. Left to their own cleverness, employees can often find ways to get more done with fewer resources if they are allowed to substitute a more productive resource for a more costly one. Unfortunately these "do more with less" initiatives often remove tools and resources without permitting for their replacement by the necessary cost efficient tools to get the higher expectations accomplished.

When tools don't exist, motivation is at risk.

Let's go back to Afghanistan. I'm betting you'd like some tools, and I'm not talking about a shovel or nice power saw. A gun would be good for starters. And bullets. While we're making a list, let's add grenades, two-way radio, Kevlar vest, and a rocket launcher. Oh, food and a canteen would be really good. And a map to get us back home.

"Do more with less" rings hollow when the stakes are high, like when your life is on the line. Make sure your team has the proper tools to tackle the tasks ahead of them and dispatch them productively and with confidence.

No Training? No Can-Do!

The third key to maintaining motivation is skills. Individuals must be trained on the skills that allow them to use the tools in the context of execution of the plan. It's not enough to have the resources if their application is left to question.

Skills training still may not accomplish the desired result if it is delivered outside of the context of the plan. A hammer can be used for both driving nails and pulling them out, and it's important to know what needs to be accomplished so that its application supports our desired outcome.

Without skills and training, motivation will be waning.

Forget the guns, Kevlar, and rocket launcher for a moment. Let's suppose we drop you into a tank, such as the magnificently sophisticated Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Without training on how to operate it, you'd be a sitting duck. Maybe you could figure out how to operate it, but possibly at great danger to yourself. What if you loaded the cannon improperly and caused a misfire? How far could you drive without running out of fuel in enemy territory?

At least the tank is firmly planted on solid ground. If put behind the controls of an Apache helicopter without adequate training, the risk to you goes through the roof! Without proper training, motivation is quickly replaced by frustration and fear.

The same things happen every day in workplaces all around us. People show up to work in the morning without a clear idea of how they contribute to the big picture, and without the tools and training to get the job done. Deliver the keys of strategy, tools, and skills, and your people will understand where they're going and how they're going to get there. Those keys will maintain motivation, excitement and enthusiasm by establishing confidence. They assure a successful outcome and are reason enough for employees to stay engaged and fervently work toward the big, bodacious goal you're ultimately after.

With the keys of strategy, tools, and skills, making motivation stick won't seem so elusive after all.

2004 Paul Johnson. All rights reserved.

Note: This article is available for reprint at no charge. We only ask that you include our copyright notice in your reprint, along with the About the Author (byline) information we provide at the end of the article.

Paul Johnson of Panache and Systems LLC consults and speaks on business strategy for systematically boosting sales performance using Shortcuts to Yes?. Check out more salesforce development tips at http://panache-yes.com/tips.html. Call Paul direct in Atlanta, Georgia, USA at (770) 271-7719.


MORE RESOURCES:

Philly.com

Penn State's Belton finds motivation in doubters
Philly.com
CHICAGO - Reading Bill Belton's tweets over the last week or two, you would think Penn State's running back from South Jersey felt he was being disrespected. Check out two from July 21. He wrote in one, "Underrated and overlooked . . . damn I'm excited ...

and more »


Chron.com (blog)

Texans training camp report: Old school tactics provide motivation to avoid ...
Chron.com (blog)
It may be an old-fashioned tactic, but coach Bill O'Brien is penalizing players for mental mistakes by making them immediately run a lap around the practice field, in full view of their teammates, the media and invited onlookers. Veteran left tackle ...

and more »


KARE

Motivation Monday: Boot Camp!!
KARE
For the second year in a row fitness guru Chris Freytag delivered her expertise to KARE 11 for a special Motivation Monday boot camp. This year's event included 21 KARE 11 viewers, including one who drove two hours from Glenwood to participate.



Michigan players defend Brady Hoke, say his job status serves as motivation
MLive.com
“It should motivate the whole team just to look out for coach and his business,” said Clark, the 2013 All-Big Ten second-team defensive end. “At the end of the day, when our four or five years are done, we want our coach to still be here representing ...

and more »


The Secret of Effective Motivation
New York Times
You might suppose that a scientist motivated by a desire to discover facts and by a desire to achieve renown will do better work than a scientist motivated by just one of those desires. Surely two motives are better than one. But as we and our ...



*Taveras, Pierzynski, and the science of motivation
Viva El Birdos
Editor's Note: I apologize for this being late -- I was scheduled to be home from a week long road trip at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, plenty of time to write a post after the kids went to bed. Then US Airways made my life a living hell for a good 12 hours ...



Sydney Morning Herald

Raiders' NRL motivation to be spoon fed
Brisbane Times
After Monday night's 34-18 loss to South Sydney, five Raiders players indicated, to varying degrees, that the wooden spoon would play a factor in their motivation towards the back end of the season. Prop Brett White said the playing group "certainly ...
NRL: Warriors look for motivation in defeatNew Zealand Herald
Under strength Raiders promise paybackStuff.co.nz

all 14 news articles »


Globalnews.ca

Milos Raonic using Wimbledon loss as motivation for hard-court season
Globalnews.ca
Milos Raonic of Canada returns to Nick Kyrgios of Australia during their men's singles quarterfinal match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. AP Photo/Ben Curtis ...
Raonic using anger at Wimbledon loss as motivation for hard-court seasonYahoo Canada Sports

all 34 news articles »


Montella: 'Roma extra motivation'
Football Italia
“Starting the tournament against Roma is certainly a tough task, but also extra motivation for us,” Montella told the official Fiorentina website. “Equally difficult will be the trio of matches with Inter, Lazio and Milan, but as always what happens on ...



MiamiHerald.com

Manny García-Tuñón: The new science of motivation for the 21st century
MiamiHerald.com
I recently saw a presentation by career analyst Daniel Pink on the science of motivation — a topic that should be of specific interest to anyone in business, particularly business owners and managers. Pink, an attorney, spent several years examining ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.