Great leaders know they need to stay motivated. They need to have their head in the game and be willing to go to the front.
And yet there are times when we lack motivation. We want to give in and quit.
I’ve seen this time and again as a youth leader. We’ll bring new staff members on board only to see them slip away and drop out of their leadership position.
This dropping away happens from a lack of motivation. They’re no longer seeing what they once enjoyed and brought happiness to their lives.
Instead it’s become dull and drab. A burden to carry or toss away. It’s up to them but we see them giving up.
We must have the motivation to help others succeed. Otherwise our work will be in pursuit of self desires.
Yet my theory on the proper motivation is evolving.
Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group which has more than 400 companies, said a profound thing when he talked about his motivation. Here’s what he said:
“My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long university education that I never had – every day I’m learning something new.”
Richard Branson’s motivation is more ME-centered than THEY-centered. And I’m beginning to agree with him.
Placing our motivation behind others can be draining. We’re looking for their approval. We’re looking for their change. We’re looking for things that they can do.
The problem is: We cannot change anyone. We can only change ourselves.
Can you see the conundrum this creates?
When we let our motivation become the act of seeing someone else change, we’re giving up the control of the motivation.
Instead, what if we let our improvement become the motivation?
We could let the challenge of growth push us forward. This way we’re able to control the motivation.
When we let our growth become the motivation, we’re able to measure how we’re doing.
We can see and control:
The new skills we learn
The exotic places we visit
The time we spend on self-improvement
The courses or training we’re willing to invest in
Letting our own improvement become our motivation allows for the possibility of huge growth. We can push ourselves forward with the drive to succeed. With the desire to learn. With the push to go the distance.
And with this motivation we can then use the skills and abilities we’ve learned to go out and help others improve their lives. We can show them the way to success. We can offer them the skills and training to succeed.
However, our motivation will not waver because they choose or do not choose to improve. We won’t drop out because we’re not seeing any growth in their life.
We know we’re improving and that was our motivation. So let your growth and the ability to share it help you stay motivated as a leader. Don’t let your motivation depend solely on the actions of others. That’s a sure way to kill your motivation.
Question: Do you agree? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.