March 07 2018


Moving people from one place to another can be difficult. Some just don’t like change. Some don’t like hard work. Some do not understand the reasons for change or see how the new location or procedure or project can possibly be an improvement on what has ‘stood the test of time.’ Casting the vision effectively (that is, at the right time and with the right passion, persuasively and clearly) is part of motivation. But another side to this challenge is to learn what type of motivation works for the various individuals under our influence.

John Maxwell believes that the best motivators act as leaders who know and understand how their people respond to motivation. He lists four categories:

1. Some respond to money.
2. Some are urged to action by the promise of autonomy. They have entrepreneurial spirits.
3. Others get excited by the concept of ‘mastery’. They are motivated by opportunities to achieve new levels of competency in their particular skill area or craft or giftedness.
4. Finally, there are some people who get ‘fired up’ by a cause, a purpose bigger than themselves, an effort with noble or grand goals.

It is so easy in leadership to complain about those who ‘drag their feet’. Perhaps our motivation techniques need to be applied on a more individualized basis; like a specific laser pin-pointing the appropriate mindset. As in education, medicine, and sports, one cannot treat every situation, every person the same. Know what works for who whom and when.

February 12 2018
I watched with Canadian pride as our figure skating team won the gold medal at the 2018 Olympics in Korea. The announcer said this about Tessa Virtue, who skating with ice dance partner Scott Moir, sealed the deal for gold. “Curiosity drives her, not ego.” In my opinion, ego can only take you so far. Eventually, ego can corrupt and even crumble. Ego can cloud perspective and cause a loss of respect. But curiosity can bring innovation, resilience, and discovery. Curiosity can drive you into the unknown with anticipation rather than fear. It compels us to look for success around the next corner, to test drive the variables which will help us excel. Ego can end up imprisoning a person, and alienate those whom we want to serve and bring value to. Curiosity, conversely, is the activity of the truly free. Are you working and walking in the freedom of curiosity or in the slavery to ego?

February 6 2018
* Courage is not the absence of fear but moving forward in the presence of fear – John Maxwell
* The door to the success dream is also entered through the door of difficulty – John Maxwell