It really is about motivation. After all, what impels someone to climb a mountain, or go to college, or save for a car, or learn a new language or anything of a thousand things? What is it that moves someone to action from a position of comfortable stasis? The answer is motivation. Motivation is the process of stimulating you to action. It takes a need, desire or some other impulse and incites a response. Motivation is the high-octane fuel of success and, as such, it's vital that individuals and teams capitalize on its power.
Often motivation seems to occur spontaneously -- the result of apparently random events. But random motivation isn't the stuff of greatness - to say the least of profitability, innovation and success. It's imperative that team makers and leaders cultivate and nurture motivation throughout the life of a project. Fortunately, motivation is relatively easy to create. In fact, it can be reduced to a formula: M = (D+ A)U. That is, motivation equals dissonance plus accountability, multiplied by urgency. This is the DNA of motivation. It's the essence of what will fire individual imagination and resiliently drive action. Contained within this simple formula are the seeds of phenomenal success.
Beyond the DNA of motivation, bringing clarity to a project is one of the fundamental challenges of team makers and leaders. The most successful teams will always operate with a lively, yet focused motivation. In some ways, motivation is like turning on a light bulb. Light from the bulb instantly floods the room. The same light, however, when focused, becomes a laser with vastly more powerful applications. The ability to create this laser-like focus determines who will reach the summit and who will simply mark time in the base camp.
The single best way to achieve focus is to set realistic goals. Interestingly, the word, "goal," is one of the oldest in the English language. Originally it meant, "barrier," or, "boundary." Today we think of a goal as an objective or purpose to which we direct our energy. The older version, however, imparts a fuller flavor to the concept of Fifth Station goals. At the Fifth Station, goals always follow motivation. That is, they are always set at the far boundaries of our capabilities because they reflect not only where we are, but also where we want to be.
We've looked at the DNA of motivation and at how goals can provide laser-like focus, but what about implementation. How do we actually go about achieving our goals? The answer is through planning. This should come as no surprise, as every goal contains a nascent plan. Since goals tell us where we are going and provide an objective measure of success, they suggest the strategy that we'll need to follow. With very simple goals, plan and goal are synonymous. However, as the complexity of the goal increases, the requirement for a separate plan grows as well.
Team makers and leaders can foster success by consciously applying the DNA of motivation, building clear goals and by promoting appropriate team planning.
George Ebert is the President of Trinity River Seminars and Consulting, a firm specializing in the custom design and delivery of team building, personal growth and ethical development programs. Mr. Ebert is a highly sought after speaker, educator and consultant with over thirty years experience in both the public and private sectors. He has presented widely throughout the Unites States. He is the author of the management cult classic, Climbing From the Fifth Station: A guide to building teams that work!