Leadership – How to reignite your motivational fire

Oct 17th, 2016



We all recognise the power of motivation and as leaders, you’ve probably spent a great deal of time thinking about how to motivate your team to deliver the very best for your organisation. But how do you manage your own levels of motivation? Who or what gives you the power to get up every morning and be the very best you can be, and are there times when you feel like you have no motivation at all?

In my role as an Executive Coach I often work with Senior Executives who experience exactly that. It might sound surprising to many, but if you’re a senior figure who has had a very successful career, is financially comfortable and is generally having a good life you might be finding life… well, a little bit boring. You’re naturally driven but you’ve achieved what you set out to do in life so what’s next?

I sometimes watch interviews of successful leaders and one question that never fails to get asked is: What drives you? What motivates you to be as successful as you are? Of course, the answers vary, but are dependent on two main factors – whether you are motivated by pain or pleasure.  Think of the important decisions you have made in your life – has your action been fuelled by a need to move away from something that was intolerable, or were you focusing on a goal that was deeply attractive.  Sometimes it is both.

Those leaders that have come from a disadvantaged background will often say that the pain of what poverty meant for them and their family drove them to take the action needed to move away from this. They made a promise to themselves that they would do everything possible to become financially strong so that their children would never have to endure the same experience. The deep desire to distance themselves and their loved ones from those difficult times has provided a limitless fuel source to keep their motivational fire alight.   A former client of mine – a successful property developer suffered hugely in the property crash back in the early 1990’s and lost 90% of his personal wealth. As a result of this, he now keeps what he calls his “IWS” file – an “I Will Survive” strategy which is continually updated to ensure he stays ahead of the game and doesn’t end up a similar situation to before. His IWS strategy was tested in the market crash of 2008 and he came out the other side in a much stronger position than many others in the industry. It’s a great example of digging deep and finding something that will continue to motivate you, when motivation seems so difficult to come by.

So what about you? Is the drive to distance yourself from a negative time or place a motivator? Or do you have or want an irresistible goal that is calling you forth.  It is important to understand what drives us to take action, as this can be a great source of reference to determine the strategy that will re-ignite your motivation.

If you’re a senior leader and you would like to explore this topic further, please click through to our Vision Intensive Day or contact me today to arrange an informal conversation at info@potentialplus-int.com.

Thank you for reading,