Motivation is important. It is amazing how little gets done when people are unmotivated. And it is equally astounding what can be achieved quickly when someone manages to stir the motivation within the people around them.
Motivation and Leadership
By definition a leader is someone who does not need to be motivated externally to him or herself. In other words the leader’s motivation is from within. No one has to encourage the leader. No one has to be there to wake her up in the morning. No one has to remind them to turn up with a good attitude.
Types of Motivation
There are basically two types of motivation:
- Pain (stick) – deadlines, needing to make money, people’s demands, frustration of incomplete projects,
- Pleasure (carrot) – helping people, making people happy, achieving big goals, getting a job done, rewards,
Which is better? The carrot or the stick? Well neither. Whichever works best for you. You need to understand yourself well enough to know whether you are more motivated by pain or pleasure. If you are always cutting it fine with deadlines then I can assure you that pain is what motivates you. If you are very goal focused and always looking for ways to complete a project, or how to help a client, then it is probable that you are motivated by pleasure.
Which Motivation Is Best?
Both types of motivation, carrot and stick, pleasure and pain, can be either internal or external. While some personality types struggle more than others, all who become leaders must learn to become internally motivated. They will not require others to push them or to inspire them in any direction. They know what they want. They will know how to motivate themselves.
At some point all who go on to become successful leaders decide to do whatever it takes every day to be the best version of themselves they can be. And as a result of that decision, they simply get on with making things happen.