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Fear or aspiration – what’s your motivator?

In my September blog I asked you to consider if you were a good leader.  There is so much information at our disposal today you could consider that there is no excuse for poor leadership in organisations.  I, like many others, have experienced some pretty shocking excuses for ‘managers’ during my 30+ year career.  The question I constantly ask myself is why?

What drives these black lagoon dwelling creatures? Fear or (delusional) Aspiration? I have no doubt in my mind that some senior mangers take great delight in stamping on some of their direct report’s faces to make themselves feel more superior. Astonishing to witness let alone experience in this decade. A high level of self esteem and self worth goes a long way and is a clear differentiator between good and great – inspirational leaders.

I read an interesting article yesterday called “Fire, Snowball, Mask, Movie – How Leaders Spark and Sustain Change” by Peter Fuda and Richard Badham, which was sent to me by a CEO friend of mine, who had participated in the research.  Extract is available from http://hbr.org/2011/11/fire-snowball-mask-movie-how-leaders-spark-and-sustain-change/ar/1. I wanted to understand more about it so I tracked down a white paper called “Leadership Transformation: Creating Alignment from the Inside-Out” by Peter Fuda.

These resources outlined 7 metaphors for leadership transformation, which were designed to ‘promote meaningful reflection and purposeful action.” The 7 are:

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Stephen Covey (1989) in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People promoted via Habit 2 -“begin with the end in mind”. This habit has naturally a multitude of applications in our personal and professional lives. Having said that, it is all about having a clear picture or paradigm of what the end goal looks like.  Most people in your organisation are seeking context and relevance to their work – how they personally and professional contribute to achieving the big picture and gain from the transformational effect.

Be clear on what you want to achieve in life – personally and professionally. Don’t be afraid to engage the services of a coach to use as a sounding board and help you achieve your stretch goals. I have recently been privileged to have been exposed to and able to use the coaching services of Siimon Reynolds, one of our country’s great advertising entrepreneurs. Siimon has shared many of his life lessons, including what great achievers have in common. Great achievers “feel, think and act differently to average people and so their achievements are fundamentally different, and greater. If you accept that the average person rarely achieves excellence, then if you seek greatness it makes absolutely no sense to do what the average person does.”

From Reynolds to Ghandi… “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

So what is your motivator? I am hoping you now say aspiration! Throw away your ‘mask’ and start to think and plan what are you going to start to do differently to grow and sustain your motivational drivers to create your own ‘snowball’ and achieve your ‘movie’ version of success.