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Leader, don’t motivate your people, it’s too difficult!

Motivation is something external to the person. It’s done to them. And it’s too difficult a job for you as a leader to constantly motivate your people. Inspire them instead. It’s much easier and enjoyable for you and more energizing for your people.

How to inspire instead of motivate? Here are the top 3 steps to inspire:

  1. Find out what are their talents and strengths
  2. Discover their highest values
  3. Help them to achieve their aspirations – their STARs

Talents and Strengths

The magic is knowing your people’s talents – knowing what they are great at and helping them to apply the things  they love doing. This  makes them enjoy what they do and feel happy about it. When people know and are confident about their key talents and apply them in what they do and want to achieve, it enhances their success opportunity extraordinarily. It  brings confidence, impact and focus to deliver with excellence.

Why would you as a leader in  business want to spend time and effort to motivate someone to do things  that they are not inspired about and will not feel passionate about doing? Instead give them the opportunity to do the job they are excited and inspired about. It takes less effort for you to place people in roles that they are inspired and talented to contribute and excel, rather than to keep motivating people to do a  job they dislike in a  culture they can not shine in.

Highest Values

If you are clear on what are your values and choose your job, role, relationships in accordance to them, you generate energy.

If among my strong values are independence and creativity, but I choose the job where I have to strictly follow the rules, like risk manager or underwriter, then I will not be happy about the content of my role as I will constantly have to do something that does not naturally resonate with my core being. The set of values that each individual has is unique to them.

Highest value – you are spontaneously inspired to do the job that resonates to your highest value. You get up and do it, You do not need a motivation to do it. Napoleon Hill called it, chief aim. It is a burning desire to fulfil. Doing the job that fulfils your highest value is one of the secrets to master your life. It’s intrinsic.

Lowest value – you need a motivation to do the job that is in congruence with your lowest values. You find it difficult  and de-energizing. You do not enjoy doing a job that relates to your lowest values. Therefore you need an external stimulus to motivate you to complete that job.

It is more difficult  than doing the job that you are naturally inspired by . And for leaders it takes much more effort, time and energy to motivate people to do the job that they do not feel naturally inspired to do. It is much more rewarding to inspire people to excel in their jobs that they enjoy doing and that are contributing to their highest values.

Inspiration is calling from within, building on intrinsic values and talents. Motivation is pushing from outside to do something that your person does not enjoy.

Help to reach their STARs

Nobody goes to work for the sake of the company. People go to work to  fulfil their highest values, aspirations, to reach their stars – whatever stars mean for each and every individual. If they see how their job, vision, mission of company helps to fulfil their highest value, they are inspired to contribute and to be effective to deliver. If not – they have low productivity and need to be constantly motivated. If their job fulfils their highest value, they can not wait to get to work each and every day and add value to the company. They feel ownership, responsibility, commitment. They are engaged and constantly improve their customer service to deliver upon their personal excellence.

Your wisdom as a leader is to place people in the right role that will help them to reach their stars and add massive value to the company. The role that they feel inspired about, so you do not need to put an extra effort to motivate them. Instead – inspire your people by giving them projects and opportunities that play to their strengths , talents and values.

Your wisdom is to fill  your day with high priority things where you add value. If you do not fill up your day with high priority actions that inspire you, it will be automatically filled with low value distractions projected by other people that are low according to their values.

Ask yourself on a daily basis what the highest priority actions I can do today that generates most income, inspiration etc. Rest – delegate to somebody else. How do you live an  inspired life if you keep doing desperate things? There is always somebody that matches the job you need to delegate. Make sure its congruent with their values, so you do not need to micromanage and motivate them. Inspire them instead!

Inspire Reaching For STARs

We all have a dream when we join a company or accept a new role. As employees we want to contribute to achieve the company’s success, perform with excellence, feel recognized, develop our capabilities and our careers. We want to reach the stars, whatever the stars mean for each of us; and for each of us it is different.

How do we, as leaders, inspire our people to achieve their dream, to reach their stars and to contribute to the company’s performance and strategy execution? – it is a million dollar question.   If we were all doing this with excellence – our companies would constantly achieve top results in the market.

I have developed and successfully implemented for businesses the STAR model to better connect with peoples’ aspirations and for leaders to better understand how to inspire their people. The STAR model is very simple and easy to apply, and very impactful. When you connect to peoples’ hearts, minds and aspirations, you can radiate an inspiration from them with true passion.

Here is a short summary of the STAR model and questions to ask in each stage:

S – Start. Why did they join the company. What are their aspirations?

T – Target. What are they aiming to achieve? How can we channel it? Do we have the right resources to achieve the strategy?

A – Action. What should they do to achieve the goal? What appeals most to them? How can we be supportive?

R – Results. How are they progressing? How are they achieving the results? What else is needed for their inspiration, development and retention?

Keep connecting with your people and inspiring them to reach for STARs!