Remember when you were young and you could hear a song, or watch a movie (like Rocky) and be extremely motivated?
I was so motivated by Rocky that at the age of nine, I asked for boxing gloves, and proceeded to challenge an older and bigger kid to a boxing match. Needless to say he kept asking if he could stop beating the literal snot out of me, but I thought I was Rocky, and would win in the end. I didn’t. So while motivation can be good, it can also make you get the snot the beat out you.
The other thing I learned is outside motivation doesn’t last. In other words, even if you motivate another individual as a leader, it will only last a short while, and something inside of them has to take over to keep it going, or it’s just a peak in an otherwise very long valley. I learned a long time ago that you might be able to inspire someone for a little while with words, but if they do not have the fire inside of them for whatever it is they are doing, the fire will go out, and you are back to square one.
I also learned this about myself. I have to be passionate about what I am doing to give it my all and to be successful. When you are truly motivated and passionate about something, the failures you encounter look like stepping stones instead of walls.
Good leaders find already motivated people, which believe in, or have the desire to believe in whatever the mission is. The mission and the goals need to be clearly defined. I have always said give me missionaries, over mercenaries any day.
Mercenaries are motivated by quick gratification. They don’t have to believe in the mission, they just have to get what they want from it, and they are done.
Missionaries have a belief in their mission, and are motivated to succeed no matter the cost. They have an undying faith in what they are trying to accomplish, and this passion and belief is contagious and can help any type of organization achieve its desired goals, which means individual goals will be met too. This creates its own cycle of success, and it creates an environment that thrives on passion, and is self-motivated.
If as a leader you find yourself constantly having to motivate, you need to take a hard look at your team, decide whether the mission defined, and whether I have missionaries or mercenaries?
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