Motivate others and you may be surprised by what happens next

The story of Healthy New Albany is inspiring — there’s no doubt about it.

Philip Heit is not only a recognizable educator and leader in his field, as a professor emeritus of physical activity and educational services at The Ohio State University, he’s also the driving force behind New Albany trying to become the healthiest community in the U.S.

Now that’s a lofty goal, but as you’ll read in this month’s Uniquely Columbus, it’s certainly one that’s achievable.

Spread your passion

So, not only did one man help start two city marathons and the country’s largest walking race, Heit is the core inspiration that made health a big part of New Albany’s entire identity.

When people visit the city to try to figure out how to duplicate New Albany’s efforts, Heit says he tells them that it started as a grassroots effort. Yes, a grassroots effort that originally stemmed from one man.

Heit’s passion sparked a movement, which lead to a way of life.

Learning how to motivate people certainly can be useful for business leaders. The leaders of the most successful companies usually have that intangible something extra that draws talent and makes its employees want to go the extra mile.

Breaking down motivations

There’s a great Time article, from 2014, “How to Motivate People: 4 Steps Backed by Science” by Eric Barker, that explores this topic in an interesting way.

Money doesn’t really motivate most people. You just want to give them enough money to make it a non-factor. It’s more about connecting to emotion and addressing feelings.

It’s also important to connect those feelings and motivation to progress. So, you want to set small, achievable goals and then celebrate those together. Those smaller goals can actually be more motivating than one large goal.

Then, if you emphasize the “why” behind it all, you can create a shared work culture — a group that is unified by a provocative idea, just like Heit did.