Steps to Motivate the Unmotivated

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When I think of people who have done great things in the world, I’m simply amazed. Great pieces of art have been sculpted, great buildings erected, beautiful pictures painted, boundless companies organized, physical titles concurred, and team records shattered. They all have one thing in common. Everyone who accomplishes something great is highly motivated. Success never falls in the lap of the unmotivated.

When I think of a successful organization, I picture in my head a team of highly motivated individuals, working toward the same cause. I see a team of horses, all pulling the wagon in the same direction. The problem comes when you have a horse who decides he’s comfortable where he is and stops pulling the wagon. Imagine what happens when one of the horses decides to just slow down a little. It disrupts the other horses, the driver, the wagon, and the passengers.

I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. A manager of an organization, who is responsible for customer service, is reviewing the numbers of his staff. He notices that one member is doing an exceptional job in all his responsibilities, except one. The area of lead generation is extremely low. When the manager speaks to the employee about it, the response is,

“I’m only going to turn in good leads. I don’t like turning them in unless they are a for sure thing. That way I don’t waste anyone’s time.”

As a manager, you easily recognize this as an excuse to justify that person not getting out of their comfort zone and doing the work. So how do you, as a leader, motivate the unmotivated? How do you get someone to achieve their maximum potential? I’ve assembled a step by step formula to walk you through an unmotivated personality.

Step 1: Meet that person where they are.
Don’t jump right into telling them not they aren’t doing what’s expected or their defenses will automatically go up. Recognize the positives they have accomplished and the positive intentions of the individual. If they have none, you can reshape their intentions on this step by saying,

“I know you have the desire to do work that makes you and your family proud. I also know you have the best interest of the company and other people at heart on a daily basis.”

Step 2: Ask them to follow you to a better place.
Now that you’ve met them where they are, you can ask them to follow you to a new and more rewarding destination. Describe what you know they can achieve and how they can live up to their potential with a rewarding sense of self-worth.

Step 3: Take their ammo of excuses away.
On this step, go ahead and acknowledge the excuses they have already given and even some you can imagine they will give. This will disarm them and probably get through the shell of stubbornness. They will also feel like you’ve heard their grievance of why they think it can’t be done. You can word it simply by saying,
“I understand how you feel about not wanting to waste anyone’s time, but I feel it’s limiting your results. We can always come up with reasons of why things don’t get done, but doesn’t it feel better when they do?”

Step 4: Set expectations
On this step, review what you expect and get them to agree.
“To be honest with you, I’d be disappointed if you weren’t at least in the top 10% in lead generation. What do you think?”
They will either agree or try to negotiate a less hefty goal. Either way, you’ve won. You’ve got them to commit to improving themselves and the work they are doing.

Step 5: Review the fundamentals
“In order for you to reach YOUR goals, you will need to work some key behaviors into your routine.”
People can only focus on a couple of things at a time. So limit the key behaviors to three. If you have more than three priorities, you probably don’t have any.

Step 6: Track the activity
Jack Daly, an international speaker, says, “Things that get measured get done!” If you can track it, you can manage it. The things that you will want to measure are not necessarily the results, but the activity that will produce the results. Be proactive with the tracking. Do it on a daily basis and update the employee on how they are doing. If it isn’t where it needs to be, fix it. Work side by side with them for a couple of days showing them how to produce those results. You may find out some important things you were unaware of. This will also let them know that you know what you are talking about and are willing to get out and get your hands dirty, which only increases your influence.

If these steps have helped you please let me know.

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