I often get asked by people how to motivate others. And it's a common topic when thinking about leadership, management and success - the ability to motivate others is a prized skill for anyone who looks to get results with a team.
None of the answers I have seen are quite as good as this one from Daniel Goleman:
"I told him that what I felt was most important as a motivator was a sense of meaning and purpose in what we do. If our efforts fit with our driving sense of values and life mission, then we will be energized. Iâ€™ve known many people who were caught up in the pursuit of money, power or prestige as ends in themselves, who only found that getting those things left them feeling empty â€“ it was meaningless, a rat race. Of course Abraham Maslow pointed out that there is a hierarchy of human need - if you are poor, powerless, and suffering, then money and power make sense as goals. But once those are satisfied, other goals become more important â€“ and a meaningful purpose or life mission trumps them all."
So, what does this mean in motivating others? Simply, find a way to tie in to their deepest purpose in life - their calling. If they're not aware of them, work with them to help them find their calling, and to help them actualize it.
While I can't claim to have always been great at this, I have noticed that this is the thing that separates exceptional managers and leaders from the simply good ones - they help people tap in to their own sense of their calling and purpose, and help them tie their work to it on a daily basis.
If you want to create a team of incredibly motivated, drive-through-walls, push-past-all-limitations employees, this is the absolute requirement.