One of the very worst aspects of motivation is when it leaves you mid-project and you still have a long, long way to go.
Here's a guest blog I did for the Rose City Rollers! Derby athletes train all the time. All. The. Time. On skates. Off skates. They train to acquire and improve individual skills and to enhance team performance. When it comes to the individual athlete, we often talk about mental toughness and the ability to perform under pressure.
Developing expertise is satisfying and intrinsically motivating. Daniel Pink calls this motivation due to learning “mastery.” When starting something new, mastery is easily noticed because new skills are immediately needed and new roles are learned and developed. The steep learning curve is motivating as long as the learning challenge is complemented by sufficient ability and resources to rise to the challenge.
In my time cultivating oodles of leaders and leadership teams, it was repeatedly reinforced that paying attention to creating team culture is worth the effort. I’ve seen so many teams latch onto the quirks, foibles or neuroses of their leadership team, for better or for worse - generally for worse.
You may be struggling along with overly detailed instructions for your tasks or every communication including another thing for you to “consider adding” (which is code for: do this or your work will be rejected) or maybe you feel the eyes looking over your shoulder and every piece of your work scrutinized with comments....here's how to save your peace of mind.
Have you ever been frustrated or mystified by someone telling you “I had no choice” when it seemed pretty obvious that they made about 100 choices leading up to that moment? Or how do you feel about hearing the old saw: there just are no good options? If there truly were no choices to be made life would be quite a bummer and evaporating motivation would be understandable and unavoidable. Choice can be a powerful motivator.