“Nothing is impossible; the word itself says I’m possible.” – Victor Aguirre
In a recent review of my book by a local newspaper I was described as a “motivational writer”. I sensed that she felt that this description somehow degraded me. It didn’t. Since the launch of my book I’ve learnt that newspaper journalists have a lower regard for writing created to “inspire”. I find it strange as I believe that inspiring writing should be a cornerstone of their craft.
I am happy that my writing sometimes has the effect of motivating and inspiring people. I find it difficult to comprehend what is wrong with that. If she meant to imply that my work doesn’t have substance she should have said so. Still, a lot of journalists have the idea that motivating people is somehow less legitimate than, say, just providing them with facts and information.
I can’t say for sure when motivation became the heart of my writing, but I think it began when I became a business growth consultant and realised that I couldn’t simply force clients to execute my ideas. If I wanted them to follow my recommendations, I would need to motivate them to do so and strengthen it by re-enforcing the ideas with facts.
When I make presentations to a group, my goal is to motivate my audience to take massive action. I want the delegates to take action by using the same persuasive techniques that I teach marketers to use in selling their products and services. Wherever possible, my ideas are presented through stories, because emotive stories have the power to inspire.
What has all this talk about motivation got to do with you and your business?
If you want your business to grow profitably and consistently, you must understand that your job as chief motivator will never stop. You should be willing to interact personally with everyone who reports to you and constantly communicate with them. You must guide them as your role is to inspire and educate. You should praise, and on occasions correct them with honesty and clarity.
Allow me to give you an example of how important employee motivation is to the success of a business. Over the past six months I have been involved with a client whose business had faltered with alarming speed.
I began by meeting with his key employees and trying to understand what they were doing, what they were proud of, what their competitors were doing, what was working, what was not working, and what business bottlenecks were frustrating them and slowing them down. Based on my findings, I recommended some radical changes in the structure and strategy of the business. Some people needed to leave the company. In deciding which people to keep, the deciding factor was to retain employees who were flexible, open to change and could implement new ideas. By eliminating the people who were beyond being motivated, the opportunity for sustainable growth was created.
Once a solid core of people that could be motivated remained, then the strategies and ideas for turning the business around could be tested. The business managed an extraordinary turnaround in three months. The improvement was only partially due to the new ideas introduced. Most of it was due to the fact that the entire team was motivated to execute the ideas with purpose and passion.
A motivated person is an unstoppable person!
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.
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