What’s the impact of your motivation?
Many thanks to those of you who have listened to and provided positive feedback on the podcast I recorded for the American Management Association. The content clearly resonated with the leaders among you who find yourselves in testing times.
Many thanks also to those of you who responded to the motivation survey I posted in my last blog. The data are currently being analyzed and the resulting report will be sent to you within the next month.
I am looking forward to viewing the results myself. ‘Motivation’ is something that is a relentless challenge for leaders, whether it be your own motivation or that of your people. I describe in my book, Thriving on Pressure, how this situation is not helped by the common misconception about motivation.
Consider two leaders, both of whom are talented and highly motivated to do a great job. The assumption would naturally be that both will perform to the best of their impressive ability. But this assumption is inaccurate because their high levels of motivation are experienced in very different ways.
One of the leaders really enjoys and thrives on the challenge and looks forward to going into the office every day. This leader exudes an infectious enthusiasm that underpins an environment where high performance is inevitable and sustainable.
The other one has equally high motivation, but it is in the form of a desperation to succeed. This leader lies awake at night worrying about the threats to personal ambitions that may be encountered the following day. This leader is constrained by a fear of failing that is an obstacle to creating a high performance environment.
The implication for you as a leader is that it is not simply a case of being highly motivated that will help you recover from setbacks and enable you to keep going and thrive when the pressure is at its most fierce. High motivation can actually work against you if it is in the form of desperation, fear, or an obsession with being successful. This is not a form of motivation that will drive success which is sustainable.
Since motivation is the driving force behind your behavior, it’s important that you channel it carefully to ensure that it works for rather than against you. Why not spend the next couple of weeks reflecting on your own motivation and the impact it has on you. Until then …