Being motivated is the key to being successful. However, early in your career, you may not be totally aware of what motivates you. Or, you could think you’re motivated by one thing, say money, but in reality, you seek money because your true motivation is having free time.
As a leader, if you want to motivate, you need to seek out and identify the key success motivators of your direct reports. By leveraging those ideals, you can get your employees to work harder since the reward is intrinsically greater.
Here are the top measures of success, and how you can use that to motivate.
Earning Enough to Live Comfortably
A key motivator for most people is being able to earn enough to live comfortably. For example, you can check out this article on what the ideal amount is to live comfortably. It highlights how being poor makes things very difficult, while at the same time being super rich has diminishing returns on each additional level of income.
Depending on where you live, and what you lifestyle is, living comfortably means having a salary that can provide for a nice home, some savings, and a modest lifestyle. It also entails some type of security in this income level and employment status.
Enjoyment and Passion
Another huge motivator for some is simply enjoyment and passion. Many writers and bloggers extol about doing what you love and following your passion. However, that isn’t always feasible, but it is a huge motivating factor for people.
As a leader, if you’re giving assignments, leveraging what people actually want to do will usually boost returns, because they will try harder.
Improvement to the Past
Some people are simply motivated by being successful – almost in a narcissistic way. This can play to your advantage if you have them focusing on always being the best, or improving things from the past. For example, you could improve profitability from last year, or some other metric. Driving improvements is a huge motivator.
Provide for Others
Some people are also motivated simply by providing for others. This doesn’t necessarily mean in a charitable way – it can also revolve around creating jobs or being able to pay others to live comfortably. This motivator is hard to work with as a leader, but it could lead you to finding the ideal project for an individual.
Have Free Time
Finally, for some people, the biggest success motivator is being able to have free time or vacations. That is why so many incentive packages throw in an extra week of vacation or some variation. It goes back to the old work hard, play hard mentality. Being able to give someone free time by working hard can be a great reward for the top performers.
What motivates you to succeed?