Shad Helmstettler in “What to Say When You Talk to Your Self”
Continuing the topic of “Ways You Can Improve as a Leader,” I’d to address your personal motivation. What is that gets you to the office each day? Why do you work as hard as you do? What drives you to put in the time and exert the strength to perform the tasks required of you in your position?
Many will read those questions and respond with answers such as: “My paycheck.” “So I can keep my job and not get fired.” “Because I want a promotion.” While those are valid reasons, I hope you can see they are external motivators and as such are weak reasons. Someone who does their job just to get paid or to ensure their job security is most likely someone who is putting in a mediocre performance at best.
The excellent performer is the one who does what he/she does because they are motivated by something from within. A burning desire exists within their very being to achieve something worthwhile with their life. They have a vision for their life; some all-encompassing goal that is at the forefront of everything they do. Their job – whatever it may be at the moment – is but a tool they use to assist in the achievement of that goal.
One significant difference this makes in the viewpoint of a person is that they always view themselves as “self-employed.” They might be on someone else’s payroll, but in their heart and mind they are working for themselves. They are not just putting in the hours to produce something for the company that pays their salary: they are making the money, learning and honing the skills, developing the contacts and experiencing the personal growth that will enable them to achieve their own personal life goal.
This has a great effect on our motivation. No longer are we motivated by the external motivation exercised by our employer. Instead, it is the internal motivation that is given birth by the desire that consumes us to achieve our life ambition. When driven by this kind of internal motivation, we quickly discover the power it has to lift us from the mire of mediocrity and deliver us to the pinnacle of excellence.
In order to enjoy the benefits of such internal motivation, you must have a life vision that is so compelling that obstacles fall impotent before it. If you haven’t already done so, invest time and energy in yourself to discover the dreams that lie within you. Denis Waitley said, “People need to have the conviction that there is value in their dreams. It requires the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy to develop yourself.”
A leader who has discovered the value of internal motivation is one who is ready to lead his/her team to greater production. By setting the example for the team, he/she can lead them from mediocrity to excellence.