How do you motivate your team?……?It’s a trick question. You can’t.Of course, you need to set up all of the conditions for great performance:
You need to treat your team like gold.
But at the end of the day, you can’t force motivation.
It’s an outcome, not an activity.
I used to believe that I was in the business of motivating people.
Turns out, I’m actually in the business of hiring motivated people and building an amazing place to work.
That’s not an easy job.
But it’s an easier job than trying to make people happy.
You don’t control your emotions. They do.
If someone on your team isn’t doing great work, you’re right to think something is wrong.
It might be them.
It might be you.
It might be the combination of you and them.
Do the work to find out why someone is unmotivated or underperforming (and note they aren’t always the same thing).
If there are things you can change that will lead to a different outcome, consider doing them.
But remember: you cannot create motivation. You can only create the conditions for it.
Trying to do more is too much of an emotional burden. It’s not what’s best for the business.
Plus, it won’t work.
There’s always a fine line I walk with these types of ideas.
The people who are trying too hard already are the most likely to think “There’s still more I should be doing.”
The people who should probably be doing more are the most likely to think “I’ve done enough.”
All I can say is that every leader has their blind spots. Keep reflecting, and try to be honest with yourself, even when it’s hard.
Also, try talking to someone you trust to get perspective: a peer, mentor, or coach can be invaluable. (If you want to explore Executive Coaching with Crews & co., send us a message here).
Being a great leader takes work. It takes courage—and plenty of it.
But building the business you want with an all-star team by your side? Absolutely worth it.
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