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Unlocking the Power of Motivation

Your Key to Leadership Success

power of motivation -eagle skyline with woman with arms outstreched.

Today, let’s dive deep into a topic that lies at the heart of every successful leader, Motivation. Understanding and leveraging motivation isn’t just about pushing yourself or your team to work harder—it’s about unlocking the internal drive that fuels sustained effort, creativity, and resilience.

The Motivation Formula: More Than Just a Spark

Psychology tells us that motivation is built on two primary components: Ambition and Expectancy. Ambition is your desire to achieve something great. Expectancy is your belief that it can be done. When these two elements combine, they create a powerful force that propels you forward.

But motivation is more than just a spark; it’s a flame that needs continuous nurturing. To sustain it, you need to focus your attention and effort consistently. This means setting clear goals, developing necessary skills, and maintaining a positive attitude. Plus, the secret ingredient: Celebration!

Quick Self-Assessment

Before we dive deeper, take a moment to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10:

  1. How clear are your current goals?
  2. How confident are you in achieving them?
  3. How often do you celebrate your progress?

Keep these numbers in mind as we explore further.

Ambition: Dream Big, Act Bigger

To truly motivate yourself and your team, start by raising your ambition level and visualizing it daily. Ask yourself, “If I aimed even higher, what would I most want to achieve in the next five years?” Write down your biggest, boldest dreams. Imagine your daily life once you achieve these ambitions—how would it feel? What new skills would you need to develop? What big leaps and actions would you need to take?

The Eagle’s Perspective

My dad, who served in the Navy for over 20 years, used to ask me, “Why are you hanging out with all these turkeys (who can’t really fly) instead of being up there with the eagles (soaring overhead)?” As a teenager, I didn’t quite grasp his meaning. Now, I understand he was urging me to set my sights higher—to soar with the eagles rather than staying grounded with the turkeys. This advice has shaped my approach to setting ambitious goals in both my personal and professional life.

a dream plus motivation becomes reality

Expectancy: Believe in Your Success

Believing in your success is crucial. This belief—what psychologists call “expectancy”—fuels your efforts and keeps you going when times get tough. Reflect on past achievements and the strengths that helped you succeed. Use these reflections to build confidence in your current ambitions.

Real-World Examples

  1. Howard Schultz and Starbucks: Schultz’s belief in creating a “third place” between home and work revolutionized the coffee industry. Despite initial skepticism and challenges, his belief in his vision kept him motivated, leading Starbucks to global success.
  2. Sara Blakely and Spanx: Blakely’s journey from selling fax machines to founding a billion-dollar company showcases the power of motivation. Her unwavering belief in her product, despite numerous rejections, ultimately led to Spanx becoming a household name.
  3. Elon Musk and SpaceX: Musk’s persistent pursuit of space exploration, despite early failures and skepticism, demonstrates how strong motivation can drive innovation and success in seemingly impossible ventures.

Sustaining Motivation: Attention and Effort

Once you have your ambition and expectancy in place, the next step is to sustain your motivation. This requires consistent attention and effort. 

Practical Steps:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define what you want to achieve and break it down into manageable steps.
  2. Develop New Skills: Identify the skills needed for your goals and seek opportunities to learn.
  3. .Stay Positive: Focus on your strengths and past successes to build confidence.
  4. Create a Supportive Environment: Surround yourself with people and resources that support your ambitions.
  5. Celebrate Progress: Acknowledge and reward yourself for the efforts and milestones along the way.

According to a Gallup study, highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. Moreover, companies with motivated employees outperform those without by 202%! These statistics underscore the crucial role of motivation in leadership and organizational success.

Creating the Right Environment

Motivation thrives in the right environment. Surround yourself with positive influences and eliminate distractions. Create a workspace that inspires you and supports your goals.

What motivates you to get things done every day? What habits do you need to implement that will invigorate and energize you? Also, consider the top 5 people you are around the most—are they uplifting and adding value to your life?

Attitude: Your Inner Drive

Your attitude plays a critical role in maintaining motivation. Keep a positive outlook and remind yourself of your purpose. When challenges come up, see them as opportunities to grow rather than as obstacles.

Remember to check your attitude at the door as you transition from work to home each day. Set an intention for how you want to show up for your family and friends, being aware of your inner drive to be your best self with those you love.

the motivation cycle info graphic

The Motivation Cycle

Your Motivation Action Plan

  1. Write down your biggest goal for the next year.
  2. List three past successes that prove you can achieve it.
  3. Identify one skill you need to develop to reach this goal.
  4. Plan a small celebration for when you achieve your first milestone.
  5. Find an “accountability eagle”—someone who will encourage and challenge you.

Wrapping Up: Your Motivation, Your Superpower

Motivation is the engine that drives leadership success. By setting high ambitions, believing in your potential, focusing your efforts, and maintaining a positive attitude, you create your own superpower to bring your best leadership self to work.

Remember, the journey of motivation is continuous, requiring regular reflection and adjustment. Keep dreaming big, believe in your vision, and let your motivation propel you to your next best level.

Your Next Step

I challenge you to implement one strategy from this post in the coming week. Whether it’s setting a bold new goal, planning a celebration for a recent win, or reaching out to a potential “accountability eagle,” take that step today. Your future self will thank you!

Stay motivated, stay inspired!

Marilyn Dollar- Woman sitting at desk
Marilyn Dollar - The Woman's Coach

They call me the C-Suite Whisperer.

High-Performance Coach For Leaders and CEO’s. It’s time to embrace your true identity and grow into your next achievement!

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