Several years ago, I started a blog called Managing Business Acumen.  Though I loved writing it, the audience never seemed to take root and eventually it fell by the wayside.  Yet, here is another attempt.  Why?  What is that motivation that continues to drive me? 

There are very simple answers: To be heard; To make a difference in the lives of others: To promote positive cultures in business.  This new blog will pick up where the previous one left off and once again, I will strive for success.  Understanding the underlying thoughts behind this blog leads to the theme for this post: the complex topic of motivation.  While some of us thrive on success or the lure of it, others are happy to go along, unchallenged, in their daily business lives.  The difference can cause turmoil in business operations and dissatisfaction among team members.  What approaches should a business leader take to merge these different philosophies and achieve optimal performance?

The first step is to understand the uniqueness of the team.  Every person has their own thoughts and independent motivations.  Successful leaders will acknowledge and embrace the individualities.  The irony is that it is among the easiest of processes.  Casual, yet sincere conversations, over lunch or coffee build rapport and trust between leaders and team members.  Take the time to meet their spouse, significant other or children.  Simple discussions on topics of past experiences, personal goals and future career paths will naturally lead to insights on their motivations – motivations which will assist the leader in securing the success of the team.  

Next, as the individual motivations surface, the leader must ensure the proper alignment of resources.   To keep a dedicated, talented, upward seeking employee, locked into a front-line position will only serve as encouragement to seek success elsewhere.  If the employee is truly talented and has the motivation for success, developing a career path will ultimately bring fulfillment for both the employee, leader and the business.  On the reverse side, to have an unmotivated manager, one who stifles their team or is oppressive with their management style will serve to demotivate the group.  Just as a leader should uncover positive motivations, discovering negative motivations – and realigning them accordingly – is just as important.

Finally, the key to lasting success is maintenance.  As people age and careers grow, their motivations change.  Understanding motivation is not just a “one and done.”  Career paths need to be monitored and adjusted accordingly.   Even if it is just annually, a leader should have an ongoing avenue for team members to voice their thoughts on their personal path as well as hear what is in the future of the business.  As life evolves in the outside world, so must life evolve within the organization.

Now, I have covered quite a few topics in this first, short post.  The motivation is to establish a foundation which I will come back to and expand on in future posts.  For now, the take away is that keeping the lines of communication between team member, leader and business organization leads to trust.  Trust that the team member can fulfill their personal goals and motivations.  Trust that if the employee acts in the best interest of the business, the business will act in the best interest of the employee.  Trust that success is achievable, no matter how many attempts it may take! 

Thank you for joining me on this renewed journey.  Comments and questions are very welcome. For more information on an assessment of your current business functions visit our Services page.