Wednesday, February 3, 2010


We often underestimate the power of that which goes beyond motivation. Beyond what one could possibly instill into one's team (and one's own psyche), it goes beyond mind-games and above what might translate into a handsome quarter end bonus.

It is what literally makes us get up every single morning and what we dream of doing, if it is something other than the roles we perform every day.

Sometimes it might not even fully or directly relate to our jobs. For me these days it is the taste of a long (and long-awaited) trip to a different continent.

But why should anyone invest any time thinking about this?

Even for the luckiest of us, the ones who get to pursue their passion every single day, sometimes the light goes into pilot, and the roaring, crackling fire that once propelled us dims every so slightly. That's when it is important to remind ourselves that work-related stuff is never the only dangling-carrot at the end of the race and let our copilot (our other dreams and aspirations) take control of the wheel and let those motivations re-ignite our bonfire.

That's why it is so important to get to know your team-members. Know who's working to pay for their parent's dream vacation, know who is working to adopt a child, know who is working to buy a boat or to get a get the idea.

Getting to know your people is not always as easy as it sounds. It has to be done sincerely, tactfully & graciously. One has to invest time for conversation to flow, for barriers to break down, for trust to build. But in the end, it is one of the simplest and most important conversations you can ever have with anybody in your team.

When someone is down because they could not close a deal, or things simply did not go as expected, softly remind them "Hey, think about that boat, think how worth it it all will be in the end. Think about lazy fishing Sundays!"

This, of course, is no exact science, but adding a human touch to the quotidian surely it has never hurt relationships...or business.
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