“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Motivation Overview

Motivation comes from within each individual – it is what helps us move forward to complete a task or project. Motivation can be positive, such as rewarding excellent performance. Motivation can also be harsh; I recall a drill sergeant motivating me to do whatever he wanted me to do simply by yelling at me. In the corporate world, however, motivation should be specific and tailored to what works for each individual.

Why Motivation is Important to a Leader

Leaders need followers and knowing what motivates each team member is critical for the leader to know. Some people are motivated by money, some by public recognition, some simply by knowing what the goals and vision are for the organization. Some leaders have difficulty with motivation, feeling that a paycheck should be enough to motivate a follower. But, to get the best performance from a team member it is important to know and address the best motivators for each team member. Leaders also recognize that there are Motivationgenerational differences in what motivates team members and that each person is unique and needs specific attention focused on what motivates them.

Benefits for a Leader

Leaders who know what motivates themselves and their team members will be much more productive and dedicated to achieving the goals and vision that have been set for the team. Individuals and teams who are motivated to achieve not only get results, but also contribute to an engaged and positive organizational culture.

Top 3 Coaches’ Recommendations for Motivation
  1. Think about your team members. What motivates each? Money? Recognition? Time off? Other factors? Talk to each and develop a relationship with them. This will help you understand what is important to them.
  2. Treat people fairly. Nothing de-motivates someone more than the feeling that they are being treated unfairly. Don’t overlook recognizing all people who are involved in a success.
  3. Be aware of generational differences on your team and how that affects what motivates the team members. Do not judge those who are of a different generation and are motivated by things that may not be important to you.
Measure and Improve Your Motivation Skills and Behaviors

Be determined to improve your motivation skills and behaviors. Take the short motivation self-assessment on this page to identify where to improve your motivation skills and behaviors. Then, get more coaches’ recommendations in Chapter 8 of The Leadership Compass: Mapping Your Leadership Direction to help you fine-tune your motivation skills and behaviors.

Related Competencies:



Measure your motivation skills and behaviors!

Select your level of agreement with each statement in the self-assessment.
When answering the questions, consider how others might evaluate your motivation skills.


Recommended Motivational Books:

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