The Secret To How To Motivate Others- And Yourself
I flew to New Zealand recently. A colleague flew likewise an hour after me. “Hey- I watched “Blue Velvet” on the flight- what a movie!” he told me. And then there’s me. You see, embarrassingly, this is what I did for those three hours. But please- don’t tell anyone. Shhhhh.
I spent the flight to NZ searching for my blibula spot.
Are you brave enough to truthfully identify and share what your ‘blibula’ spot is? Huh? What’s that? Calm down. Relax. This is what it is. “It’s a spot on a dog’s stomach which when rubbed, causes his leg to rotate wildly.” The Brand Guy told me about it.
When I fly on business, on the way to my destination, I always try to work – non-stop. I used that NZ flight to source material for a new workshop on ‘Brand You’ I am presenting to one of our companies in a month…. three hours reading an awesome book- “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There- How Successful People Become Even More Successful,” written by Marshall Goldsmith. And here’s the key to what it told me.
For humans, our most important hot button- our blibula spot- is quite simply, self-interest.
Self-interest is what drives us, in life and in business. I know that feels kind of ‘Hey- that’s not me- I’m bigger than that!’ And you might be right, if you’re a Buddhist monk that is. But if you are anything like me, then you are, at your very core, driven by self-interest. End of story.
The trick is working out exactly what that self-interest hot button is for you at this stage of your life. Here’s a way to do it. And I am borrowing heavily from Marshall Goldsmith’s book here in sharing this insight.
People will do something- including changing their behavior- only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.
The key is being able to find out what someone’s hot button is… to find out what OUR hot buttons are. For ambitious, ‘driven’ people, the motives behind their self-interest (particularly as they are working their way ‘up’ towards their goals) usually boils down to four items:
Money… eg through pay increases
Power… eg through promotions
Status… eg for a bigger title and office
Popularity… eg by a burning desire to be liked by everyone
So- think about this. Why do you turn up to work every day? What motivates you- today? Is it any of the big four- money, power, status, popularity- or something more profound- something deeper.
I can honestly say I have never been motivated by money- though more of it has always been welcomed. In the early days, my thirst was for status and popularity… then I yearned – no, ached- for the power and influence… and then, once I had achieved certain goals, all of that kind of faded away. Now, as Goldsmith so perfectly surmises, my motivation is driven by self-interest of ‘something deeper and more subtle that has developed over time…’, of ‘leaving a legacy, being an inspiring role model, creating a great company.’ His words, not mine…but somewhere in all that lies my motivation at this stage of my career. Maybe it is a burning desire to be remembered well. Finally- ‘popularity’ rules again?
It wasn’t always that way- all about ‘more subtle’ motivations. Oh no. It was a hard core chase for status, power, popularity…and money did come with it in time. I can still taste the chase now- and I loved it, and don’t regret it. It’s simply what happened to me. And enabled me to do what I do today- which is having a blast every day (well- most days).
What about you? If you know what matters to you TODAY- what drives your self-interest- it’s easier to commit to change. And remember- people only change their ways when what they truly matter is threatened.
So- what truly matters to you- what genuinely motivates you to come to work every day and achieve? What is your blibula spot?
And do you have the courage to share it with me, now?