Archives For motivation

7 Ways to Inspire Hope

August 26, 2013 — 16 Comments
Hope quote 1024x276 7 Ways to Inspire Hope

photo source: http://seattletimes.com/special/mlk/

He had all the signs and words of stuck.  “I can’t”  “No one will help.”  “No options.”  He’d stop trying to improve the situation and was looking to numb it.  His “sports ready” stance had withered to hunched and clenched. He still had an occassional “wish” for a miracle.  But, wishes without action are another side of hopeless.

And yet, from the outside looking in, I saw huge possibility, talent, and relationships worth leveraging.  I yearned to help him adjust his lens to see new beginnings.

Why I Subscribe to Hope

Hope encourages hard work, risks, and meaning. Not the “want without work” kind of dreaming.  The feeling deep in your gut that there’s something more.

I’m ridiculously yet pragmatically hopeful.  Ridiculous,  because I dream big and set goals beyond my reach.  Practical because I work like a dog to make wishes come true. Continue Reading…

“Expectations” is one of my favorite topics.  Today, please enjoy the lessons of expectant leaders, from leader and guest blogger Dave Bratcher. 

rearview 300x250 3 Lessons of the Expectant LeaderEver wonder why performance is not at the level you expected?

We often look through the rear view mirror to analyze our performance.  Just as the mirror suggests, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”  They are closer because the one who is responsible for setting them is the same person looking into the mirror.

Have you ever been perplexed as to why some team members are not performing at the level you expect?  What about your own level of performance?  Do you know what your boss or clients expect from you? Continue Reading…

let me think about it 300x204 Motivation and Transparency:  The Conversation ContinuesToday’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.

1.  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”

2.  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?

3.  Listen and consider.  Jot down your reactions.  And your reactions to their comments.

4.  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.  

My Motivation

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) Continue Reading…

iStock 000007799720XSmall 300x199 5 Ways to Unblock Leadership Energy  I felt my energy drain as I drove toward the call center.    The center’s results were stagnant– it was time to dig deeper.   I was there to help, but also to deliver some tough messages.  Necessary, not fun.

“Joe,” one of the managers, ran enthusiastically across the parking lot.   Joe’s energy ignited mine.  The day was looking up.  As we walked toward the center together, Joe high-fived and encouraged each arriving rep.  They responded in kind.  More positive vibes.

We entered the building and the rest of the managers sat quietly at the conference room table nervously awaiting my (and now Joe’s) arrival.  The difference in energy–palpable.

Joe’s results blew away the rest of the struggling center.  While the other managers shared action plans,  Joe excitedly articulated his leadership vision and robust examples of personal connection, challenges and growth.

When I met with the executive team offline I questioned, “How do we get more Joes?”  They squirmed, “We can’t expect everyone to have that level of energy.” Continue Reading…

dead wood 240x300 10 Ways to Zap Energy and Squash Enthusiasm

photo by Larry Kohlenstein

Bad leaders suck life-force from their teams. They don’t mean to.  And yet, contagious yawns permeate the workplace.  Low energy abounds.  Why?

I’ve been asking this question everywhere this week  (my organization, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter).  Here’s the top 10.  I’ll leave it to you for #11.

10 Energy Zappers

1. Blurry vision
Working frantically without a clear purpose is dumb.  With pressure, dumb morphs into exhausting.  Leaders must clearly communicate the vision and engage the team.

2. Lack of connection
If everyone around you is gung-ho, and you don’t get it… look within.  It’s not them, it’s you.   That’s great data.  If you have one person on your team who you just can get there… perhaps it’s time for a tough conversation.  Learn what they really want to do.

3. Missing information
Without information we make stuff up; make-believe is always worse than the truth.  Filling in blanks is exhausting. Continue Reading…

let me think about it 300x204 What Motivates You?  360 Degree Perceptions

photo by Larry Kohlenstein

What motivates you?  What would your friends say motives you?  How about your mom?  Your boss? Your kids?

It’s been a while since we did some real work together at Let’s Grow Leaders.  Today I challenge you to a short-term experiment that I picked up reading What Keeps Leaders Up at Night.  More to come on that book… It’s fantastic…I’m meeting with the author soon…

Join in the “What Motivates You” Fun

Read the activity below  and follow the easy steps to participate.  Join back on July 1st to share your experiences (I’ll be sharing mine). Continue Reading…

Taking off 300x221 7 Unusual Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team

What’s this pic of a bird have to do with sales?
Read on…

The first time I suggested we lower quotas to drive performance, my boss thought I was crazy.  Until we did. Results sky rocketed.  Why?

7 Ways to Motivate

1.  Lower Quotas
Out of reach quotas demoralize.  Let them taste success.  Most good comp plans include multipliers.  When solid reps get a multiplied paycheck they understand possibility.

2.  Sell it For Them
“If my out-of-touch boss can do this, it can’t be that hard.”  In my case, “if this HR chick now running our sales organization can do this, it must REALLY be easy.”  Not my typical “wind beneath the wings” advice.  Ensure you understand the obstacles first hand, and lead from there.

3. Go Bird Watching
This week I stopped by the office of one of the most successful, results-driven sales leaders I know.  His assistant told me he’d taken his entire team on a “bird watching” lunch.   Perspective clears the creative thought process.  Motivate with a surprise break and time to strategize.
Continue Reading…

finalfrog 300x231 The Secret to Employee Engagement“How do I get my team to care?”  Employee engagement is the number one requested topic from my readers.  If you’re struggling with employee engagement, you’re not alone.   Gallup says:

“Seventy-one percent of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive.”

The disengagement increases with education.   Americans with a college degree are “significantly less likely to be engaged in their jobs than are those with a high school diploma or less.”   We hire for knowledge and then discourage contribution.

The Secret to Employee Engagement

I recently met with 2 new hire training classes.  One was alive, actively interested, asked great questions, and shared their optimism for their careers.  The other  class looked at me skeptically.  Didn’t say much.  Yawns were involved.

My colleage looked at me after my meetings, “Wow, what a difference in engagement between those two groups.”  What was the difference?  The hiring demographics?  The trainer?  Frontline leadership?  Nope.

Continue Reading…