Why Motivation Is Killing Your Business And What To Do About It

October 10, 2016 - 4 minutes read

The Emotional Side of Business

Some days we wake up feeling like we can conquer the world and other days we feel, well, meh. Every single person, no matter how successful they may be, goes through their ups and downs. Sometimes unpredictable challenges arise and situations change without warning. Other times, everything is moving along as expected and things couldn’t go any better. Many leaders depend on their team to keep a positive state of mind and to¬†continue moving in the right direction. However, this means that leaders are depending on the unpredictable nature of emotions. This is why depending on motivation is killing your business and this is what you can do about it.

Motivation vs. Discipline

Motivation is emotional, it’s unpredictable, and not everyone possesses it. If given the choice, most people will remain complacent or lazy. Discipline, on the other hand, is completely predictable. Discipline is a schedule, a method, guidelines, or a process. No matter what happens, one can always fall back on discipline. If someone doesn’t feel like doing something but know they need to accomplish it, they can depend on their regular schedule or routine. If a leader is having a difficult time motivating their team, it’s better to point to a particular method rather than depend on the team’s mood. Communicating exactly what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it will always resonate better than “do this if you want to”.

How To Introduce Discipline

Motivation and emotions will always be an important component of the workplace. As a leader, it’s important to understand this and to recognize the ebb and flow of your team. Encourage motivation, but don’t depend on it. Take time to create working processes with your team and get their buy in. Create a schedule that supports the initiatives of the business. Give your team time to collaborate and time to work. Your team should know exactly what to do if things go badly because there should be contingency plans or escalation processes in place so they know who to go to and what to ask. If things are going well, discipline helps curb complacency. The team should know to stick to the plan and to avoid shortcuts. There is a reason for everything and that is what a disciplined environment will provide.

Related: Why Process Creation Is Important

If your team is struggling, it’s probably because¬†you’re solely depending on motivation. The truth is that no one, regardless of how great of an employee they may be, can stay 100% motivated 100% of the time. It’s just not possible. As a leader, you will burn your team out before you see the success you expect. Rather than depend on emotions, invest in building processes, schedules, and regularly communicate expectations so your team has something tangible to fall back on.

What does your team depend on to stay on track and to keep momentum moving in a forward direction? Have you considered bringing in a business coach to help keep emotions in check and introduce discipline? Let us know in the comments below.