Three challenges for superiors in organizations today are:
1) to motivate their direct reports for superior performance,
2) to sustain their motivation and
3) to ensure they themselves stay motivated.
Staying motivated is a great challenge. What will happen to a piece of iron in a place where gold can rust? For sure, that piece of iron will disappear. A superior is like gold and his direct report is similar to a piece of iron. At least to sustain the motivation of his direct reports, a superior has to stay motivated.
Here are the four actions that help a person stay motivated despite discouraging situations.
1) Taking Responsibility
Human tendency has been to take ownership when an outcome is positive and shirk responsibility when an outcome is negative. But people who stay motivated take responsibility for both positive and negative outcomes.
2) Asking for help
Some people are good at something all of the time. Most people are good at something some of the time but no one is good at everything all of the time. That’s when a person needs help from others. But our ego or consciousness comes in the way of asking for help. We hesitate to ask for help as we think of the cost of reciprocating the help rendered.
3) Helping others
We know people do not ask for help. But the universal need is to be helped when someone is in need of a help. Motivating others motivate us. We motivate others by providing them with timely help. Be sensitive to the needs of others and help them even before they ask for help.
4) Gearing up at will
Giving up a task when the task becomes challenging is easy. Anyone can surrender when the going gets tough. We need tremendous courage and energy when the given task demands enormous efforts. My definition of motivation in this context is ‘to do a task when you do not feel like doing.’ Motivation is to stretch yourself when you know you are totally exhausted.
The belief ‘overnight success’ is an illusion.
Overnight success takes twenty years. It is true that behind the success of every person there are many unsuccessful years. Motivation is the pedal that helps us push through those unsuccessful times. Look around there are hundreds of examples of people who succeeded by staying motivated. To stay motivated also demands grit. Grit is the attitude of not giving up.
When you are determined, persisting, and courageous, you will put in your best efforts and your best efforts will lead to achievements. Remember the wise saying ‘A knotty timber demands strong wedges.’
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