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    Thank you for adhering to these four very simple rules.
    Three Factors Of Leadership Motivation
    Copyright 2004, Brent Filson

         Leaders do nothing more important than get results.  But 
    you can't get results by yourself.  You need others to help you 
    do it. And the best way to have other people get results is not 
    by ordering them but motivating them. Yet many leaders fail to 
    motivate people to achieve results because those leaders 
    misconstrue the concept and applications of motivation.  To 
    understand motivation and apply it daily, let's understand its 
    three critical factors.  Know these factors and put them into 
    action to greatly enhance your abilities to lead for results.
         "Motivation" has common roots with "motor," "momentum," 
    "motion," "mobile," etc.   all words that denote movement, 
    physical action. An essential feature of motivation is physical 
    action.   Motivation isn't about what people think or feel but 
    what they physically do.  When motivating people to get results, 
    challenge them to take those actions that will realize those 
         I counsel leaders who must motivate individuals and teams to
    get results not to deliver presentations but "leadership talks." 
    Presentations communicate information.  But when you want to 
    motivate people, you must do more than simply communicate 
    information.  You must have them believe in you and take action 
    to follow you.  A key outcome of every leadership talk must be 
    physical action, physical action that leads to results.
         For instance, I worked with the newly appointed director of 
    a large marketing department who wanted the department to achieve
    sizable increases in the results.  However, the employees were a 
    demoralized bunch who had been clocking tons of overtime under 
    her predecessor and were feeling angry that their efforts were 
    not being recognized by senior management.
         She could have tried to order them to get the increased 
    results.  Many leaders do that.  But order leadership founders 
    in today's highly competitive, rapidly changing markets. 
    Organizations are far more competitive when their employees 
    instead of being ordered to go from point A to point B want to 
    go from point A to point B.  So I suggested that she take a 
    first step in getting the employees to increase results by 
    motivating those employees to want to increase results.  They 
    would "want to" when they began to believe in her leadership.  
    And the first step in enlisting that belief was for her to 
    give a number of leadership talks to the employees.
         One of her first talks that she planned was to the 
    department employees in the company's auditorium. 
         She told me, "I want them to know that I appreciate the 
    work they are doing and that I believe that they can get the 
    results I'm asking of them.  I want them to feel good about 
         "Believing is not enough," I said.  "Feeling good is not 
    enough.  Motivation must take place.  Physical action must take 
    place.  Don't give the talk until you know what precise action 
    you are going to have happen."
         She got the idea of having the CEO come into the room after 
    the talk, shake each employee's hand, and tell each how much he 
    appreciated their hard work    physical action.  She didn't stop 
    there. After the CEO left, she challenged each employee to write 
    down on a piece of paper three specific things that they needed 
    from her to help them get the increases in results and then hand 
    those pieces of paper to her personally   physical action.   
         Mind you, that leadership talk wasn't magic dust sprinkled 
    on the employees to instantly motivate them.  (To turn the 
    department around so that it began achieving sizable increases 
    in results, she had to give many leadership talks in the weeks 
    and months ahead.)  But it was a beginning.  Most importantly, 
    it was the right beginning.
         Emotion and motion come from the same Latin root meaning 
    "to move".  When you want to move people to take action, engage 
    their emotions.  An act of motivation is an act of emotion.  In 
    any strategic management endeavor, you must make sure that the 
    people have a strong emotional commitment to realizing it.  
         When I explained this to the chief marketing officer of a 
    worldwide services company, he said, "Now I know why we're not 
    growing!  We senior leaders developed our marketing strategy in 
    a bunker!  He showed me his "strategy" document.  It was some 
    40 pages long, single spaced.  The points it made were logical, 
    consistent, and comprehensive.  It made perfect sense.  That was 
    the trouble.  It made perfect, intellectual sense to the senior 
    leaders. But it did not make experiential sense to middle 
    management who had to carry it out.  They had about as much 
    input into the strategy as the window washers at corporate 
    headquarters.  So they sabotaged it in many innovative ways.  
    Only when the middle managers were motivated   were emotionally 
    committed to carrying out the strategy   did that strategy have 
    a real chance to succeed.
         The English language does not accurately depict the 
    psychological truth of motivation. The truth is that we cannot 
    motivate anybody to do anything.  The people we want to motivate 
    can only motivate themselves.  The motivator and the "motivatee" 
    are always the same person.  We as leaders communicate, they 
    motivate.  So our  "motivating" others to get results really 
    entails our creating an environment in which they motivate 
    themselves to get those results.
         For example: a commercial division leader almost faced a 
    mutiny on his staff when in a planning session, he put next 
    year's goals, numbers much higher than the previous year's, on 
    the overhead.  The staff all but had to be scrapped off the 
    ceiling after they went ballistic. "We busted our tails to get 
    these numbers last year.  Now you want us to get much higher 
    numbers?  No way!"
         He told me.  "We can hit those numbers.  I just have to 
    get people motivated!"
         I gave him my person!" pitch.  I suggested that he create 
    an environment in which they could motivate themselves.  So he 
    had them assess what activities got results and what didn't.  
    They discovered that they spent more than 60 percent of their 
    time on work that had nothing to do with getting results.  He 
    then had them develop a plan to eliminate the unnecessary work. 
    Put in charge of their own destiny, they got motivated!  They 
    developed a great plan and started to get great results.
         Over the long run, your career success does not depend 
    on what schools you went to and  what degrees you have.  That 
    success depends instead on your ability to motivate individuals 
    and teams to get results.  Motivation is like a high voltage 
    cable lying at your feet.  Use it the wrong way, and you'll 
    get a serious shock. But apply motivation the right way by 
    understanding and using the three factors, plug the cable in, 
    as it were, and it will serve you well in many powerful ways 
    throughout your career.
     2004  The Filson Leadership Group, Inc.  All rights reserved.  

    Brent Filson is the author of 23 books, many of which deal with leadership. His recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. Sign up for his free leadership ezine and get a free guide, "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at: http://www.actionleadership.com

    More Articles Written by Brent Filson

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