Understanding Motivation (and how to sustain high levels of it)
Thursday, October 21st, 2010
For anyone, leader or employee, being highly motivated at work is enormously satisfying and productive. In order to understand how to motivate other people, leaders should start with understanding what motivates and drives themselves.
Highly motivated leaders are often driven towards something that is compelling for them such as achievement or status (I say “often” as some leaders are driven by avoiding something negative such as failure or financial insecurity). Their confidence that they are on the right track, and the vision they have for achieving (or avoiding) something of real importance to them, is enough to drive them through the inevitable up and downs of business life without becoming de-motivated. They may have an occasional ‘down’ day when levels of enthusiasm are low, however, in general, they see setbacks as obstacles to overcome rather than something to wallow in. Their thoughts are generally focused on a bigger picture.
Yet many people struggle to sustain high levels of motivation. Even very successful and well-rewarded leaders can lose drive and energy and find it difficult to be motivated. From the outside it looks as if they have it all, yet inside they feel a gnawing sense of dissatisfaction, which impacts their motivation.