Nowadays it seems you can’t move two steps (or even a mouse click) without stumbling across a piece of content focusing on motivation. Whether it’s a motivational quote, meme, blog piece, a “how to guide”, an online coach or podcast, there seems to be endless sources of information available telling us how to stay motivated.
What motivates us though, I think, is a very personal thing.
Working remotely, I feel it’s hugely important to regularly check-in with my motivation. I’m sure we all have moments where we think: why this role, why this industry? It’s very easy to become dispirited or disengaged, or even feel distant – literally and metaphorically.
Using the time away from my desk productively always inspires me. Walking to work listening to books on Audible and using Spotify for podcasts has led to a greater feeling of fulfilment and increased my motivation to be successful.
My current favourite author is Daniel Pink. In the provocative and very persuasive “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”, he explains how most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money – the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, he argues and this totally resonates with me.
Pink goes on to suggest that the secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
The book really makes you think differently about how you motivate yourself and those around you.
Further emphasised in Dr. John DeMartini’s book: “The Values Factor: The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life,” where he makes a great point that: “a lovely balance of both support and challenge gives rise to maximum growth and development.”
I really feel that balance at Blake.
This role appealed to me for a number of reasons. Being autonomous, having the opportunity to shape my own future, flexibility, managing my own time. But primarily it was a vision set out by my Managing Director, Michael Barter. There was a clear idea for the next 5 years and beyond and to be an integral part of that strategy, especially as these plans are now becoming a reality, provides me with daily motivation.
The fact that I’m trusted, supported and encouraged, motivates me to want to be successful for a company who has placed tremendous belief in my ability to perform.
Goals and objectives are also important for motivation. There has to be a plan. Whether it’s as simple as a list made at 5pm for the following day, detailing “the 3 key things you want to achieve first thing” or the overarching aim of a quarterly sales target, having clarity aids motivation.
Having some form of structure to the day is something else I find beneficial. For the majority of us, working reactively has become the norm, always having to be prepared to deal with the unexpected. Yet, in spite of this, I find that defining objectives ensures that I can get the most out of my day, and helps me be prepared for unanticipated requests or projects.
I would highly recommend the weekly podcast with Jordan Harbinger, at the Art of Charm (I listen through Spotify). The guests are varied and hugely interesting. It helps improve social abilities with daily techniques on how to become a top performer, how you can command more respect from friends, team and your network, and really master the ability to walk up to anyone and develop a conversation.
Dan Pink was actually on the show back in October 2016 (Episode 554), where he discussed his latest (and again, brilliant!) book: “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”, which uses social science, survey research and stories to offer a fresh look at the art and science of sales.
Learning more about social interactions, verbal and non-verbal communications, leads to increased confidence in any situation and it’s extremely motivating to have these tools at your disposal.
Our Blake team is growing rapidly. Since opening our first Hub of Excellence in Edinburgh during October 2016, we now have a Hub in Leeds with further exciting news to come shortly in other parts of the UK. Exponential growth brings challenges. New employees, new locations, new processes – but with the same overall objectives.
We very much motivate ourselves as a team. I’m in regular contact with our Leeds Hub, who have taken on huge responsibilities with new staff and production challenges. Whilst each Hub looks after its own “territory”, we share contacts, information and knowledge, so that our customers can get the best service in any situation.
Motivation can simply come from having a conversation, sometimes you need a colleague to offer a few words of encouragement to serve as a reminder that you’re doing a good job, that the person is appreciated. It motivates me to think that I can lead by example, or inspire through a few words.
Motivation means many things to many people. But, in essence it’s really about defining what makes you tick, what pushes you to work harder, longer, faster and ultimately what will allow you to meet your goals.