One of the biggest challenges of leadership is motivation. “How do I keep the team motivated.” What motivates people has been one of my life-long interests. While all of us are motivated by different things, when it comes to a team, there is one very powerful motivator that must be present for you or any team member to stay engaged, keep coming back day after day, and strive to do the job better. This powerful motivator is represented by a simple four-letter word – HOPE. With it, you’ll keep on striving and improving. Without it, you will struggle to just get out of bed in the morning.
I believe that the one of the best ways to build HOPE is through education. The more you learn, the more you can see what is possible. The more you see what is possible, the more hope you have for a brighter future. So, do you have a learning culture in your team? Is there something new presented on a regular basis that helps everyone see something different and envision brighter possibilities? If so, you will unlock hidden motivation. If not, the troops will wane and wonder.
Here are some suggestions to build a learning culture into you team that will result in higher levels of hope and motivation:
- Start with yourself. Do you have a daily learning regimen? Set aside at least 30 minutes a day to read something that will build yourself and/or your practice. Always have C.D.s or book on tape to listen to in the car to and from work. Learn while you workout by listening to a book. By creating a personal habit of learning every day, your own enthusiasm will increase because you will see new possibilities with the new vision that the learning will bring.
- Share your learning. Make it a point to share something you have learned with your team or with a team member. You learn by teaching. Plus, your enthusiasm will be contagious. You will start leading by example. When your team sees you leading by example, many will have the desire to follow and create a daily learning habit as well.
- Create an office book club. Compile a list of your favorite books. You could even assemble those books in an office library. Give team members an opportunity to check out books, read them and report back to the team some things they learned that might apply to the whole office. This common body of knowledge will create an ongoing culture in the office that you can perpetuate by having everyone learn from a core knowledge base.
- Add an “educational” moment to your morning huddle or team meeting agenda. Reinforce the learning habit by assigning a person to share one thing they learned that might be of benefit to the group. Give them some notice so they can prepare and deliver something meaningful.
Creating the daily learning habit individually and as a team will boost the enthusiasm and motivation in the office now and in the future. It is a habit worth having. It is a habit that pays off in extra doses of HOPE…which is one of the biggest motivators of all.