Leadership: Mini-Motivators of Motivation


In my journey through leadership , I learn a lot through experiences and observations… here is one observation:

We all work for different things and we are all entitled to our personal (or not) reasons for what motivates us. Motivation is probably the single most powerful thing that keeps an employee (willingly) at a company.

Motivation comprises of many things; I will not pretend to be the expert on motivation (or leadership) but for me and maybe for you (and possibly the general public), I think it breaks down into three mini-motivators.

  • Market: Product/Space you work on/in, the day-to-day things you do
  • Money: How much you get paid to do what you do
  • Manager/Management: Your belief, trust and/or respect for the person or people who is/are your leader(s).

To ensure that people are motivated, all leaders should focus and be challenged to ensure that all three mini-motivators are attended to as in an ideal job, one would have a good mix of all three.

So the question is: What happens when you start taking things away? or what if you had to focus on just one to grow your team? In my opinion (and many others as well), “Manager/Management” is the silver bullet.

People work for great managers/management teams and will continue to work for them even if the pay is low or the job is boring; however, if you take away the great manager/management team and give the person a great market opportunity and/or over compensate, eventually, the individual(s) will leave for other opportunities where they feel they will also get the “manager/management” balance.

There have been quite a few times when I have heard the phrase “People don’t leave companies, they leave managers” and slowly, it has started to make sense.

Leaders must focus on motivation and be managers that are looked up to; if you have leaders who are not respected and looked up to, or “followed; you have a motivation problem and (good) people will leave.

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