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Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

on personal motivation


Last week I was musing on teams, but the question of what motivates the leader is always worth considering, especially when the leader is you. Just like everyone else leaders have bad days, even bad weeks, but have to hide that from the troops as best as they can because the rot will spread. Whatever is going on inside the world needs to see a positive attitude.

One of the hardest things that a leader has to face up to and find a way to conquer is fear. There is no getting away from it; everyone will be afraid at some point and failure is probably the biggest cause of fear. It is important here to look at failure from two perspectives; failures through a mistake, making the wrong call or whatever, is something that you should embrace because you can learn from these things. There may be bad consequences, but you still can look at why you made the wrong decision and do better next time.

The other form of failure comes from where you fail to act, to not do something that you knew needed doing, but just let it slide. The fear then move to the consequences and, let’s be honest, if you pull this one then you deserve what you get. You ought to learn from this too though, the lesson being that, as the leader, you have to face whatever the job throws at you. The old adage of if you can’t stand the heat then stay out of the kitchen was never more apt.

Motivation for a leader may come from material things; car, money, fringe benefits, power and the like. At the core should always be a desire to do the best that you can though and to improve all the while. Managing fear will come though all of that and one driver will be your ambition.

Looking back I don’t know where my ambition came from and it certainly rarely ever seemed to have any focus. As a small boy I wanted to be a coach driver; it seemed wonderful to me to be able to take people on trips that gave such pleasure whilst also getting to drive what I thought were the most wonderful vehicles. That faded to be replaced by becoming a pilot and that looked, briefly, as though there might have been a chance, but it didn’t work out. By then I had begun to experience the careers advice offered at school and had decided that I wanted to be a manager. I had no idea as to what they did, but going to work in a suit, having a nice car, an office and a secretary all seemed attractive.

Others had the same idea about me as I later came to understand and worked hard on developing me in that direction. I was an organiser in my teens and was given responsibility at school that I did not understand the significance of for many years. It was only when I was into the development of others that I started to understand some of the opportunities that I had wasted, or at least not fully grasped, in my younger days.

Eventually I made it, going all the way from the shop floor to the boardroom. The two things that seemed to drive me, and that I thrived on, was having responsibility and influence. They were my motivators even if it did take me time to recognise their influence. But I think that underpinning all motivating factors is that you need to be hungry for success and to do what you need to to earn it.

I did, at times specialise at work. I have four professional qualifications in IT, Purchasing Facilities Management and Logistics each of which was acquired when I was specialising in those areas, but the common thread was that I was a decent organiser, or manager, and got things done. I established a reputation through project delivery, but was equally successful at routine operations and still regard myself as a generalist rather than a specialist.

For me I was fortunate in that I had a lot of training along the way. The opportunities to learn were always grasped with both hands right from my first school days and I still, aged 68, will grab any opportunity to try something new that comes my way. How you motivate yourself is something that you must find. Don’t sweat it too much, but do try and see if you can understand what makes you tick and channel it to you advantage.

on motivation for leaders


The ability to motivate is one of those traits that we expect in a leader; keeping the team positive, productive and, for at least short bursts, galvanised should be bread and butter to a good leader as should the ability to keep the team’s collective heads up when things are not going too well. Read more…

on sharing your thinking with your team


If you have followed the last couple of Musings you will see that I advocate effective communication between the leader and the team. The idea of sharing your thinking with your subordinates is alien to many, but it is beneficial in a number of ways. Read more…

on the JFDI principle


Back in the early 1970s I was on a management training programme with a company that operated throughout the UK and was doing the rounds of every department in the business to learn the ropes before, hopefully, getting onto the management ladder with a promotion to a line job. One of the people I worked for during that period was a big influence on me, firstly positive, but then negative and the thing that tipped the balance was the JFDI principle. Read more…

on regrets? I’ve had a few


With 65 looming next birthday it would be odd if there was nothing that I regretted, but the problem with regrets is that they can, at best,distract you and at worst, screw you up. So how best to handle them?

Sooner or later we all do something that we would have preferred not to. Maybe a word out of place, breaking something or just making a mistake; there are al sorts of things that we might do that we regret. How we react to such events is no more than a matter of choice though and that is what I want to look at here.

When something goes wrong if you dwell on it to any degree that part of your mind that is focussed on the event is not being used to move you forward with whatever else you need to be doing. The more you worry about something the less you can focus on the present, let alone the future.

Sports psycologists talk about being able to put an error behind you, to rid yourself of the negative thinking that can come from a setback and ficus on the next shot, point or whatever. By all means look back on something that you regret to analyse what you might do to mitigate the risk of doing the same thing again, but try to do that after the event when you can do it dispassionately.

Yes I have a few regrets, but I can’t change what is past and done I can only learn and move on. And if you thought that I was about to burst into a quick rendition of My Way,we I regret that I shan’t.

What’s your business all about? Do your people know?


Those who delve into the deeper corners f my social media output will be aware that recently I have been working on developing one of my various ventures into the retail arena. So why am I taking on a project like this? Read more…