Episteme

Mike's random thoughts and ramblings

The Ultimate Motivator

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. I’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 – 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 – 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.

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Michael Murray

Michael Murray