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Value Creation Blog

Can You Motivate Anyone?

Posted by Josh Patrick

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I love it when I read about how to motivate others.  There seems to be thousands of pages that have been written on the subject. 

If we’re open and share information, we’ll motivate others.  If we allow others to set their own schedules, they’ll be motivated.  If we allow people to work from home, they’ll be motivated.

We’ve all heard and read what we’re supposed to do to motivate others.

Instead, I suggest that we take a different tact.  I think we should look at what we can do in our systems to allow others to be motivated.  Or, to look at it in another way, what do we do that allows others to become un-motivated.

My belief is that we don’t motivate others.  We do set a tone that those who are motivated can continue to be motivated. 

We have the ability to de-motivate those around us.  We do this in a variety of ways.  We don’t listen, we set rules where people say why bother, and we don’t let people experiment.

Many people start a new job where they’re motivated to do interesting things.  They start work excited.  As the weeks go by little things get in the way of the motivation we all want with our co-workers.

Instead of trying to find ways of motivating others, why don’t we concentrate on taking away the things that keep others from being motivated?

Here are some easy things you can do:

  • Ask everyone in your company to write down three things that keep them from doing great work.  Make sure this is done anonymously.
  • Stop using goals in your company.  Instead go for constant improvement.
  • When someone makes a mistake, celebrate the mistake and ask instead what we could do different next time.
  • When something goes wrong, don’t look at the person look at the system.

I find that people want to do great work.  It’s not a matter of motivating others; it’s a matter of getting the junk out of the way.  What can you do in your company to make life easier and more fun for those you work with?

Josh Patrick

I've written a special report on how to hire for unique abilities.  I find that when I use this system of hiring I dramatically increase my success rate.  I think you might enjoy this report.  Click on the button below where you'll be taken to our order page for this complementary article.

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Topics: enterprise value

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