Home > Blog > Improve leadership and motivation in a crazy, busy world
Improve leadership and motivation in a crazy, busy world
In this crazy, busy world, leaders need to change even faster. Often trying to be more agile and achieve more with less is a constant and tiring struggle. You can break out of the cycle of craziness and become much more effective when you understand your energy and motivation. Knowing your own energy, giving motivational drivers and those of your team, your colleagues, clients, customers and key stakeholders, cuts through the craziness and helps you deliver what’s needed simpler, better and faster. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with Jane Thomas on a webinar about the brilliant new book book, ‘Mapping Motivation for Leadership’ that she wrote with the Creator of Motivational Maps, James Sale. You can catch up on the webinar below. https://vimeo.com/364786749 The problem is, our energy-giving motivators are as dynamic and changing as the world around us. It is as important to understand which motivators GIVE you energy and which one’s DRAIN your energy. Many people are living off out-dated motivators. Most leaders need to upgrade their own motivational software. This is easy when you know how:
Start by measuring your own energy and motivation
Know your top 3 motivators and use them to fire you up to achieve your goals and what you believe is possible
Identify your bottom de-motivators (any energy-draining motivators) and do a damage limitation exercise to ensure they have minimal impact
Ensure all your top motivators are at least 80% satisfied
Know the motivators of the key people around you and press their motivational hot button
1. Start by measuring your own energy and motivation
The sad fact is that many people are disconnected from their energy. Less than 50% of people are accurate about what really motivates them. Learning the 3 roots of motivation and understanding which of 9 motivators are driving you and measuring them is often the missing link to activating new potential, especially in these crazy, busy times. You have a blend of 9 motivators which can impact your energy levels more or less dramatically, depending on how much you value the motivator.
2. Know your top 3 motivators and use them to fire up your goals
A searcher is someone who wants to make a difference. They want meaning and a sense of purpose in what they do. They need to feel they are doing worthwhile w ork that is adding real value with a clear reason why. Leaders should give them important, meaningful work and link their goals to the organisation. Also, ensure to give them regular and purposeful feedback on how they are making a difference. Searchers dislike repetitive work so avoid meaningless routines. Ask them for ideas on how to vary the work or the routines and if repetitive routines are unavoidable, find ways that their value can be demonstrated. For example, ask the person benefiting from their work to explain to the searcher how it is helping them in their work.
Spirits thrive on freedom, autonomy and independence to give them a sense of empowerment and ownership over something, whilst being clear on your expectations. Encourage the mindset that they are really Managing Directors of their own business, as spirits want to see their role as one they are doing, not for the organisation, but for themselves. Avoid too many rules or procedures by considering ways to be flexible and steer clear of perpetually summoning colleagues to your office. Instead set aside time each week where individuals can come in and talk to you about any issues.
These people are about being creative and innovative so give them an original project. Get them focusing on something new or some aspect of continuous improvement that will make a difference to the team or business. Bear in mind that routine invariably means boring to the creator, and boring leads to mistakes.
Being the go-to person, really excelling in a particular area of expertise, is what the expert is all about. Motivate them by helping them build their knowledge. Give them more experience and encourage them to share their insight. They can be great coaches and mentors, as well as people who are either learning more expertise, or sharing their expertise with others. Never allow an ‘expert’ to get stagnated by failing to develop the. Organisations without a learning culture or with inadequate training programmes are likely to be a turn off.
Someone with strong builder characteristics likes an above average standard of living. They are target-driven and like to feel that they are achieving things. To them, money and material satisfaction are very important. They are the only person in the team where it is critical to look at their remuneration / bonus. Performance related pay is a motivator. Give them stretch goals and targets because they like exceeding their KPIs. Since they appreciate the value of money, they dislike organisations that appear to waste it. They like employers that show sound economic decisions, so inform them of how financially responsible the organisation is, and how the systems and processes add to the bottom line. The director Directors like to be in control. Give them more responsibility, ensure they are effectively mentored and allow them to shadow a more senior member of staff for a time. Ask them to think about areas where they can be more influential and, where appropriate, for them to take more control. They will soon switch off if there is no clear career development path mapped out for them or if there’s a lack of opportunity to lead or to feel empowered.
Stars love social esteem. Their motivational hot buttons are very much about public recognition for being great at what they do. Give them opportunities to shine and where they are going to be recognised by others. To tell a star merely that ‘you have been successful in exceeding all you targets’ will not get the motivational juices going so ensure to adjust the regular appraisal scheme. What language is used? How can it be refined with specific recognition and rewards?
Friends like to feel connected with the business and team. Teamwork and collaboration are very important. They need to feel supported and involved and tent to enjoy organising team social events and supporting colleagues. Sincerity is also crucial. The slightest suggestion that someone is practising a ‘management technique’ on them, or simply doing ‘this’ because they must, negates the importance of the relationship. So, internalising management and coaching skills are essential.
Defenders like to feel safe, maintain the status quo, minimise risk and thrives on continuity. They are motivated by regular communication and feel safer when things are predictable, so they know what is going on. Honest communication fosters a sense of security, as does a consistent style of leadership. If they do not know where they are with their manager, then their focus will not be on their work. Finally, avoid surprises. Defenders can deal with change, so long as the rationale is explained to the, – before it is implemented.
3. Identify your bottom de-motivators and do a damage limitation exercise to minimise their impact
In this example, Mark’s bottom motivators were Director (he didn’t want too much responsibility, control and influence over people) and Friend (he found ‘needy’ people very energy draining.
4. Ensure your top 3 motivators are at least 80% satisfied
In Mark’s example, his top motivator, ‘Searcher’ (motivated by purpose, meaning and making a difference), became 70% satisfied, so his leadership challenge was to continue to strengthen his own and team purpose and get feedback on the difference he was making. His ‘Defender’ (motivated by safety, security and certainty) became 80% satisfied, so building his leadership resilience and identifying ways he could feel safe in his crazy world, boosted his energy levels. He still has work to do to improve his ‘Creator’ (motivated by being more innovative, bringing new ideas and continuous improvement into his work).
5. Know the motivators of key people around you and press their motivational hot buttons
‘Mapping Motivation for Leadership’ by James Sale and Jane Thomas is a practical guide to leadership in the 21st century. There is an increasing body of evidence that the single most important aspect of being a leader relates to managing emotions effectively. This management goes way beyond simply ‘understanding’ emotional intelligence; it is intimately connected with understanding our energy. Energy is synonymous with motivation. The effective leaders of tomorrow will be those who understand their motivators, who regularly measure their motivators, sustain and replenish and maximise their motivators, and who do the same for their employees. For more information on Motivational Maps, please click here or visit the Motivational Maps website. If you have any feedback on the webinar or this article then please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you!