Top tips for motivation

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2008

1. Know whom you want to motivate and what matters to them. What people are motivated by varies enormously between individuals (and situations) so a 'one size fits all' approach is unlikely to work.

2. If you want me to be motivated then I must believe that if I make an effort then my performance will improve.

3. Great visions are often impossible to achieve, eg, 'Within an arm's reach of desire' (Coca-Cola) and 'A computer on every desk and in every home' (Steve Jobs at Apple). It is much more important that a vision resonates and has appeal than that it can be delivered in four years.

4. When you evaluate options or explain major decisions refer to the vision as the touchstone – if something won't help achieve the vision then you shouldn't be doing it.

5. Show that you are single minded and passionate about your vision – once agreed it is not up for debate. This will help demonstrate determination and provide a clear focus which rallies disparate groups of employees

6. Each team can have it's own mission – whilst this needs to be consistent with the company aim it can be a lot more specific, eg, 'removing waste so we can invest in the future', or 'helping our customers feel good about their decisions'

7. If you involve colleagues in developing the vision (which will give you more evangelists) make sure that they raise their sights above 'being number 1 in our chosen markets' – the test: will this mission make me keen to jump out of bed on a rainy Wednesday morning in two year's time?

8. Stories bring a vision to life.

9. Remember, a vision is a communication tool, not a strategic management quick-fix. Before going public on your chosen vision, make sure it makes sound business sense and isn't simply the result of excessive away-day exuberance.