“Motivation is the fuel, necessary to keep the human engine running.” Zig Ziglar
Successful leaders are self-motivated.
I was talking to a friend the other day about leadership and its multiple strengths. In the conversation, the question “what does it take to be a leader?” naturally came up. Of course, a long list of characteristics and skills popped into my mind.
If we were to pick one trait, just one, that defines a leader I think it is motivation.
Leaders have this intrinsic desire to deliver beyond expectations. They are motivated by the desire to deliver results if only for the sake of results. From results they get their energy and desire to continue but also the inspiration for new projects.
Leaders are passionate, proud of what they do and always eager to grow.
So to be a true leader, you have to find this motivation within yourself, practice it and consciously increase it.
From Simon Sinek I learned that it all starts with “Why?”
So the first questions I invite you to look within yourself for the answer are:
- Why do you want to be a leader?
- Why is it important for you to excel in a leadership role?
- How do you feel now that you know where your motivation to grow comes from?
- What is the first step you want to take in this direction?
Now you have the foundation on which to build your own growth and development plan. But more than that, you have the motivation to sustain the whole process.
Of course every leader has moments when they feel demotivated and I believe that nothing demotivates a leader more than a lack of results. That’s why it’s important to build a self-motivation and release mechanism. And because, before we are leaders, we are people, I believe that this mechanism is also a personal one.
I dare to share what works for me rather as a permanent practice and not necessarily as a restorative measure.
Here are some of the actions that can have an impact in increasing motivation:
- Raise the performance bar – don’t settle for goals that seem too easy to achieve but don’t set unrealistic goals either
- Track your progress – sometimes better is the enemy of good so mark every result and celebrate both the big and small victories.
- Surround yourself with motivated and energetic people. There’s a saying that if you want to go fast go alone – if you want to go far find a partner. Look for people with the same level of energy and desire to grow.
- Practice gratitude – including for yourself. It will bring you a sense of fulfilment and confidence that you are on the right track.
- Last but not least remember what is important to you? Whenever you feel lost, return to what motivates you. Your “why” will work like a compass.
Remember that to excel in a leadership role, motivation is paramount and is a journey that only you can embark on.