Friday, 6 December 2019

Motivation is an inside job

Motivation is an inside job. 

I’ll say it again. Motivation is an inside job. 

Our motivation, or it’s lack, is not the fault of other people. Which means the toxic boss, negative colleagues, or relentless organisational culture are not the reason for our lack of motivation. Our decision to allow these things to impact our motivation is. 

I know that’s hard. I know it’s easier to point the finger at others. I also know that sustained contact with these potential demotivators can wear even the hardiest person down. 

The issue is that so long as we look for the cause outside ourselves we’ll not take personal responsibility for making the changes that are needed. Instead, we join others and gossip about the toxic boss rather than make the hard decision to find a new job or raise the issue with HR. Instead we continue in our lack of motivation, waiting and hoping for someone else to change their behaviour - and that may never ever happen - leopards and their spots and all that! 

If you’re lacking motivation, what action can you take today to take responsibility for the external factors you’re currently allowing to impact your joy for life?

Monday, 2 December 2019

What will you choose to do differently?

Beware when using the following words or phrases: 'everyone', 'everywhere', 'all the time'.

Sweeping generalisations such as these are often used in ways that keep us stuck, and certainly push the responsibility away from us taking alternative action.

Not every single person in every single organisation every day does it badly, wrongly, or unacceptably.

Being more specific in our language enables us to allow for there to be ‘others’, sometimes the majority, who do not walk that walk, and, instead, talk and walk from a different paradigm.

By focusing on the alternate paradigm we want in our organisations we’ll notice those who live there, and understand how we can be the change we want to see in the world. So long as we believe no one does it that way, we’re giving ourselves an excuse to hide and play small.

What will you choose to do differently?

Friday, 29 November 2019

Musts, oughts, and shoulds

Doesn’t every daughter at some point look up to their dad and want to be just like him? 

Being so very different from my dad it wasn’t something I had ever done. Until at my dad’s funeral last year I realised we shared very similar work values. 

My dad was a bank manager at a time when bank customers knew the bank manager’s name and they knew yours. He retired in the early 80s. Imagine my surprise that 35+ years after that retirement some of his bank customers attended his funeral. 

“Your dad saved our farm” said one. “Your dad saved our business” said the other. 


“He argued our case when the theory said we were too risky”. 

It would seem not paying attention to all those musts, oughts and shoulds and, instead, listening to our inner wisdom and doing the right thing is a family trait.

How do you want to be spoken of at your funeral?