Today’s post is a follow-up to our June 21st discussion: What Motives You: 360 degree Perceptions. I challenged you to explore your motivation through introspection and conversation.
- Write down 3 or 4 sentences that you believe truly describe what motivates you.
e.g. “To challenge people to grow toward their full potential”
- Identify 5 or so people you trust to give you candid feedback. Ask them to tell you the complete truth. Then ask, “What do you think motivates me?
- Listen and consider. Jot down your reactions. And your reactions to their comments.
- Join back on July 1st to share whatever feels comfortable. This “was cool. I learned a lot” works, no need for massive self-disclosure. Of course, we’re interested in all you’re willing to share.
Now for fun part, let’s discuss. If you didn’t play, it’s not too late.
I wrestled with how much to share of all this, I don’t want my blog to be about me, but about helping you. Then again, I thought if I shared more deeply, you might too. Please forgive me if this is too much. What motivation makes me wrestle with that dilemma for 3 days?
What I think motives me:
- Growth, mine and others (that’s what gives me a rush)
- Exciting challenges (I love to climb big mountains)
- Accomplishment (and fear of not accomplishing)
- Competition (I do hate to lose)
- Doing the right thing (and changing bad guys)
What my team says motivates me:
- Becoming a Region President
- A supportive boss that lets me manage to my style
- A cohesive direct report team that works well together
- A good challenge
- Having fun while working hard towards a big goal
- Developing employees to become better leaders
- Being in an energetic environment
- Being in the field with the frontline (not in the office)
- Being part of leadership transformation
- Having a platform to share her ideas
- Positive movement (growth). “that growth can be in a number of areas like the growth of an idea or a career, movement in performance or organizational growth. You can see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice when she sees or can create growth”
“You want to DO. You have never been one to sit on the sidelines and observe. At all times you want to be actively engaged. And you want your involvement to make a difference. You want to DO WELL. You want to be successful at what you do. Doing something poorly is not in your make up. You want to DO GOOD. You care about people, about injustice, about indifference and unkindness. You want the world to be better because you are here. You want the PEOPLE around you TO DO WELL ALSO. You want to help people be the best they can be. You want to be RECOGNIZED for WHAT YOU DO. You are not one who wants to work quietly behind the scenes. Limelight does not hurt your complexion. You are keen on providing appropriate recognition for all – I think it is one of your defining characteristics as a leader and as a person. I think it is also significant what people are not motivated by. A few typical motivators that are not drivers for you include: things, trappings, money, fear, insecurity.” ~ Dad
“I think you are both motivated by moments. You are passionate about creating them, leading others to make them collaborative, successful, and memorable. Dance routines in the front yard. Swim team parades. Sorority events. Tie-dyed running shirts. Workplace music videos. All the work stuff we don’t see. Sometimes it may be for the sake of the show, but mostly it’s for the sake of pushing others past their comfort zone and into new experiences and things they didn’t know they could do.” ~ My Brother
It’s intriguing to see the commonality and the diversity in the responses. The one surprise was that no one mentioned “competition” which I consider one of my darker motivators. I’m not always proud how that manifests. Perhaps I’m working to hide that more these days.
A few observations:
- Motivations are more transparent in some situations than others
- People’s own motivations impact they perceive our motivations
- People are perceptive
- Context matters
Please Share Your Story
If you played along, please share your story. If not, it’s a game worth playing. Start with reflecting now. What do you think truly motivates you? What would team, friends and family?
Inspired by Nicole Lipkin’s What Keeps Leaders Up at Night