Motivation is a passion to work for reasons that go beyond one’s external Driving Forces and are based on an internal drive or propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. It’s been a while now, but you may recall from our series of emails on the 12 Driving Forces that they help us understand what external factors propel us into action. But what happens when none of them are present?
Are you able to pursue your goals with energy and persistence in the absence of your external drivers? This is a skill which you can be developing as you seek to strengthen your leadership. Once again, let’s use an example from your team to help understand this concept. First, we need to imagine a situation where you know you need to do something that you don’t want to do. For the sake of the example, let’s say that one of the members of your team is struggling in an area and the best course of action for you to take as the leader might be to increase the amount of time you are spending with this team member, listening to them and patiently developing them.
There is an opportunity cost to this additional time, though and you believe you are better suited to other activities that your organization needs to accomplish. How do you motivate yourself to do the thing you know is best but you don't want to do?
When you understand your external Driving Forces, you can use them to motivate yourself to do what needs to be done with your employee. If you know you are highly Resourceful, you can tell yourself that “if I put in a little bit of extra time now, it will pay off later when my employee needs less time from me and I can focus on what I really want to.” If you know you are highly Altruistic, on the other hand, you may motivate yourself by reminding yourself that this member of your team needs your help, since you are driven to help others. When your primary Driving Force is not being met, though, you may not be energized to do what needs to be done. The EQ motivation skill measures your level of development at getting yourself to do it anyway.
Intrinsic motivation is the most powerful form of motivation, as we always carry it with us. If we struggle with our own Motivation skill, it becomes increasingly more difficult to expend any energy towards others, particularly when it comes to social awareness.
Have you ever worked for a boss that seemed to lead through fear? How did that make you feel? How did that affect your productivity as a worker?
To improve your intrinsic Motivation, you can ask yourself: