Recently I wrote 7 Ways to Motivate a Leader. Leaders need to remain motivated so they can help motivate their team, but I believe leaders also need to be keenly aware of how motivated their team is at any given time.
Perhaps even more important, a leader needs to recognize when a team is decreasing in motivation so he or she can work to keep momentum from declining beyond repair. When a team loses motivation, momentum is certain to suffer loss.
With that in mind…
Here are 8 killers of motivation and momentum:
Routine – When people have to repeat the same activity over and over again, in time they lose interest in it. This is especially true in a day where rapid change is all around them. Change needs to be a built-in part of the organization to keep people motivated and momentum moving forward. (You may want to read 7 ways to implement change successfully.)
Fear – When people are afraid, they often quit. They stop taking risks. They fail to give their best effort. They stop trying. Fear keeps a team from moving forward. Leaders can remove fear by welcoming mistakes, by lessening control, and by celebrating each step.
Success – A huge win or a period of success can lead to complacency. When the team feels they’ve “arrived” they may no longer feel the pressure to keep learning. Leaders who recognize this killer may want to provide new opportunities, change people’s job responsibilities, and introduce greater challenges or risks.
Lack of direction – People need to know where they are going and what a win looks like…especially according to the leader. When people are left to wonder, they lose motivation, do nothing or make up their own answers. Leaders should continually pause to make sure the team understands what they are being asked to do. You may want to read THIS POST for more help with this one.
Failure– Some people can’t get past a failure and some leaders can’t accept failure as a part of building success. Failure should be used to build momentum. As one strives to recover, lessons are learned and people are made stronger and wiser, but if not viewed and addressed correctly, it leads to momentum stall.
Apathy – When a team loses their passion for the vision, be prepared to experience a decline in momentum. Leaders must consistently be casting vision. In a way, leaders become a cheerleader for the cause, encouraging others to continue a high level of enthusiasm for the vision.
Burnout – When a team or team member has no opportunity to rest, they soon lose their ability to maintain motivation and momentum stalls. Good leaders learn when to push to excel and when to push to relax. This may be different for various team members, but everyone needs to pause occasionally to re-energize.
Feeling unvalued – When someone feels his or her contribution to the organization isn’t viewed as important, they lose the motivation to continually produce. Leaders must learn to be encouragers and champions of the people they lead.
If you see these at work in your organization, address them now!
Which is these is hardest for you to recognize or address?
Which have you experienced firsthand as a killer of motivation or momentum?