The Three Laws of Motivation (Law #1)

You’re excited about the opportunities on the horizon. Time to focus and mobilize your people, then let them loose!

So best not to screw things up. Which is why for the rest of the month I’ll cover the three laws of motivation.

Law #1: You don’t cause motivation

Your people aren’t machines who wait passively for someone to push the right buttons and – voil√†! – now they’re motivated. They have their own motives, their own wants and needs. Motivation isn’t something done to employees. It’s something you help unleash and channel.

Motivation is what results when you have the right people in the right environment. If you don’t have the right people you can be the best manager in the world and they won’t be motivated. And if you don’t create the right environment then even the best people will feel frustrated.

Don’t focus on motivating people. Focus on creating the right environment so the right people will be motivated. Convey a sense of purpose that is meaningful to them. Make sure they’re equipped to succeed. Provide coaching and support. Ensure they feel valued.

Poor managers are quick to attribute failure to having the wrong people. Strong managers take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask, ‘What can I do to create a better environment?’

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