Why Motivation is Not Enough!

Let me start by saying that I am a believer in the power of motivation, but that I definitely believe that motivation alone is not enough.

Also motivation shouldn’t be the starting point when your are looking to create engaged, empowered and excited teams.

Motivation is great when we want teams to keep going, to keep pushing, but many initiatives fail because teams don’t really get involved, or lack belief which makes any effort half-hearted and end in failure.

There are two additional ingredients that are needed for success to be achieved and these need to be addressed before we start with motivation.

These special ingredients are Aspiration and Inspiration.

Why Aspiration important.

The definition of Aspiration is a hope or ambition of achieving something.

When we start with aspiration we look to get the goals that we have set or the targets we are looking to achieve aligned with the aspirations of the people we need to help us achieve them.

When our goals and targets are aligned with a teams aspirations this automatically increases the level of engagement.

Its much easier to get people to take action if it’s something they want to do.

The best ways to achieve this are to let people know whats in it for them, why it might be important for them, as well as for the company.

If there is nothing it for them, or it’s not important for them, then why should they lift a finger to help achieve it.

You can always find a way to make it important for people, because some of our basic needs, according to Maslow, is a need to feel a sense of achievement, recognition or boosting our self-worth.

Which means for any goal, if we can show link it to these needs, it will increase engagement.

My favourite story on this, which I have told many times, is when I worked for DHL and we had a project to increase parcel on-time delivery. 

The project manager explained to us that this project was important because there is no Santa Claus, and it’s our job to make sure that kids all over the  world get their christmas presents and birthday presents on the right day.

By showing this as the purpose of the project it made everyone feel that this project was important and that we would be doing good.  Not only did that increase the engagement but people were happy to work evenings and weekends to ensure it was a success.

This is what can happen we we align the aspirations of the goals with those of the people involved in delivering it.

Why Inspiration is important

We become inspired when we believe that we will be successful when we can see the path to success and it’s this that excites us and gets us keen to begin.

People are not afraid of hard work, they are afraid of failure. When they cannot see a path to success then why should they get involved, why should the be excited about starting something.

I know form my own experiences that if I can’t see how success will be achieved then my level of effort and commitment is significantly lower than when I can see how success will be achieved.

Here’s a testimonial I got from a recent speaking event

By explaining things in an easy to understand way Amanda became inspired she felt convinced that she could be successful.

This should be your goals with your teams, giving them that confidence because not only will it get them excited and willing to start. But it can also become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If we think we will fail we often fail, but if we think we will succeed this can be equally as powerful.

But What About Motivation

One the teams are engaged, and excited about starting this is where we add the motivation. We do that by applauding their early efforts, and we show them the progress that they are making. This is what will encourage them to keep going, to continue their efforts and make even more progress.

But without Aspiration and Inspiration, Motivation is not enough.

Aspiration is what makes people want to be involved, gets them passionate and committed, and it’s Inspiration that gets them excited and builds their self confidence increasing their eagerness to get started. 

If you have a great goal or target you need to achieve then improve your chances of success by starting to build Aspiration and Inspiration within your teams.