"Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly." --Stephen R. Covey
Good help is hard to find. When you do find someone that can produce, is personable and can take the initiative to get things done without constant supervision, I would consider them a ‘keeper’. Do whatever you can to keep them because those are the kind of folks that you want to be a part of your company as you expand and grow your team. If you find yourself staffing up, it’s because business is booming and you can’t keep up with the workload all by yourself. People that aren’t as manic as you about staying on top of tasks and completing assignments won’t do you much good. If they require too much hand-holding and constant ‘managing’ they can actually slow you down, which defeats the purpose, especially when you’ve gone ahead and increased your overhead in an effort to get more done.
Are you born with it?
I don’t think self-motivation is something that can be taught. Its like knowing how to draw or sing: either you have it or you don’t. That said, I do feel that as a parent, you can begin to instill, or nuture self-motivation from an early age. Show young people that they don't have to wait to be asked to do something in order to do it. Teach them the value of being proactive. Of actually 'giving a $hit'. As you grow your team, whether you are interviewing young college kids or more seasoned veterans, self-motivation is something that you should be looking for as a quality. Look for that ‘fire’ to do great work, that passion, that dedication to getting it done on time, and to not complain along the way. That self-motivation fosters a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and all around positive energy, as well as a passion or love for the work at hand.
Young people get a bad rap these days, and perhaps justifiably so and perhaps its our own fault for spoiling them rotten (re: poor parenting). The vast majority of this current generation of beatnics are not known to be self-motivated. They don’t appear to have that fire, that hunger to work hard, to meet deadlines, to get things done by whatever means necessary. These are the kids that received ‘participation’ trophies in little league. Their parents questioned the TEACHERS about their kids’ poor grades, not the other way around. They very rarely get classified as go-getters or self-starters. But I’m here to tell you that the key to success in life is self-motivation and that with some time and effort you may find a few exceptions out there. I know because I think I just found myself a good employee. A bright young man with talent and that elusive character trait: he has his own motivation – from within. He takes pride in his work and he values getting it done the right way, the first time.
This was a very big step towards growing my company: making him, my main web developer, a full-time consultant offer. A scary proposition for both parties involved, but one that after much thought, consideration and prayer, felt like the right thing to do. As I prepare to take some much needed R&R, I can feel confident that I’m leaving the ‘fort’ in good hands with a talented, dependable and responsible self-starter. He doesn’t need too much handholding which means I’ll have moments to completely unplug and can relax knowing that all projects will remain in motion.
I think I’m feeling self-motivated to spend some quality time with the family for a bit. It’s long overdue.
Helping People Thrive at Work: Encourage Employee Involvement
The Elements of Self-Motivation
Ramon has over 19 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon's logo and identity work was selected to be published in "Typography and Enclosures" the fourth book in the Master Library series by LogoLounge.
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