All smart, savvy executives spend a portion of their time motivating their teams. This motivation is more than just the grease that keeps the wheels of the business turning; it is a foundational part of what helps the team to bond and work as a cohesive group.
In the simplest of terms, motivation is a motive for action. Knowing what to do and how to do it is only half the battle. Acting on that knowledge is key. Motivation is the reason you actually do the things you do as a leader or a team member. It is the driving force behind the action you take.
So the executive motivates in order to bond his or her team and to provide the motive for getting things done. Many articles and studies have been written on the hard time executives and leaders have with keeping their teams motivated. I can understand this, but my question is: who motivates the executive?
How can effective leaders motivate others unless they are first motivated themselves? They cannot.
So the answer to the question "Who motivates the executive?" is, quite simply, the executive must motivate himself or herself. This self-motivation must take place for the executive to emerge as a powerful and compelling leader.
Here are four key ways an executive can self motivate:
1. Get enough rest through proper sleep
I have seen this problem too often through the years — the exhausted leader who can barely keep himself or herself motivated because their strength has run out. They work too much or too late and then they are unable to get proper sleep to rekindle their bodies.
Let's talk about "proper sleep" for just a minute. Working 12-14 hour days and sleeping 5 hours per night with the thought that the weekend will "make up" for this bad habit, is not "proper sleep." It might be a mind trick, but your body knows the difference.
I believe that this key is fundamental for every executive. Without proper sleep, the executive will not have the energy, physical or mental, needed to motivate himself or herself, let alone anyone else.
2. Review and renew your reasons for doing what you do
Maybe you have developed a mission statement as a team leader. Maybe it is a set of goals that you put to paper at the beginning of the year. Whatever form they take, you have reasons for doing what you do on a daily basis.
In order to motivate yourself, take some time to review those reasons. Go through them one by one and evaluate why you wrote them and if anything has changed since that time. Reflect on the emotion you felt when initially writing the goals.
Renew your goals and desires, but also renew your commitment to being the executive leader who instructs, inspires and motivates a team of people. Find that place within you that seeks the best for yourself and those around you.
The smart executive motivates himself in this manner.
3. Motivate through further training or education
A good executive never stops learning. The world of business changes on an almost daily basis. There is always something new to study and learn. It has been my experience that training and education is an exciting and fulfilling way to motivate oneself.
Possible learning opportunities:
- Company led training, workshops, and coaching sessions
- Industry based trainings within your appropriate industry
- Company sponsored motivational speaker to present to your executive team
- Online training appropriate to you and your team
- The newest book relative to your work
- A training completely outside your industry or work that you have always wanted to try
Many executives will find great motivation through undertaking an ongoing training program for themselves. Start today.
4. Take time away
Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and our motivation as leaders is to step away from the plate for a while. We all need times of vacation where we can rest, relax and most importantly, recharge.
The hustle and bustle of the everyday grind is a good thing. Hard working executives make the business world go around, but there comes a time when those executives need time away from that hard work. They need a period of quiet and calm.
Stepping away can be the best thing one does, especially if you are trying to motivate yourself to work and lead.
In order to remain a smart, savvy executive you must learn to work as hard on yourself as you do on your business. Motivation is key to staying fresh as a leader and having what it takes to drive your business forward. Focus on these keys, and others that you may come up with, in order to self motivate and stay sharp.
DeLores Pressley, Motivational Speaker and Personal Power Expert, is one of the most respected and sought-after experts on success, motivation, confidence and personal power. She is an international keynote speaker, author, life coach and the Founder of the Born Successful Institute and DeLores Pressley Worldwide. She helps individuals utilize personal power, increase confidence and live a life of significance. Her story has been touted in The Washington Post, Black Enterprise, First for Women, Essence, New York Daily News, Ebony and Marie Claire. She is a frequent media guest and has been interviewed on every major network: (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) including America’s top rated shows; OPRAH and Entertainment Tonight.
She is the author of Oh Yes You Can, Clean Out the Closet of Your Life and Believe in the Power of You. To book her as a speaker or coach, contact her office at 330.649.9809 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.delorespressley.com.