Friday, January 30, 2009

Motivation With Direction

Writen by John Mehrmann

Motivation empowers performance. Motivation with direction empowers positive performance. It can be easy to generate enthusiasm amid success. How can you be inspirational in your communication during periods of duress?

How would you react to the following observations?

"We missed our quota by 50k this month, so you need to do an extra 60k next month to make up for it."

"We went over budget this month, so you need to reduce your expense next month."

"We only made 75% of plan this week, so you need to do 125% of plan next week to make up for it."

The good news about these statements is that the shortcoming is clearly defined.

The bad news about these statements is that there is no clear direction.

The result of clearly identifying failures or shortcomings without corresponding direction is often heightened frustration by all involved.

Rather than merely defining the gap or challenge, be prepared to collaborate on crafting solutions.

"We missed our quota by 50k this month. What can I do to help you achieve an extra 60k next month?"

"We went over budget this month. Let's review the budget together and look for areas to reduce expenses next month."

"We only made 75% of plan this week. Help me understand the reasons we were below plan and what I can do to help us achieve 125% next week."

Identify specific gaps, express mutual commitment, make a plan, write it down and do it. Does this seem simple? Does it seem obvious? It can be very easy to point out a problem to someone else and then simply walk away. Collaborating on a solution with planned activities to improve the situation requires commitment and obligation. Make a conscientious effort to continually invest interest in understanding shortcomings and spend mutual energy for making improvements. Your direction will inspire motivation with positive direction.


Words of Wisdom

"The beatings will continue until the moral improves." - Anonymous (unless you have heard it)

"All your power is in your people. Your job is enabling everybody to contribute to their fullest." - Alan R. Mulally, Executive Vice President, Boeing

"If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled 'subordinates', then you know nothing about leadership. You know only tyranny." - Dee Hock, founder and CEO, Visa International


About the Author:

John Mehrmann is a freelance writer and President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital. provides resource materials for trainers, sample Case Studies, educational articles and references to local affiliates for consulting and executive coaching. provides self-paced tutorials for personal development and tools for trainers. Presentation materials, reference guides and exercises are available for continuous development.

You may distribute this article freely, print it, sell it, or include it as part of a package as long as it is intact, unchanged and delivered in the original format with acknowledgement to Executive Blueprints Inc.

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