Good leadership consists of motivating people to the highest levels by offering them opportunities, not obligations. ~ Lao Tzu
Nature of Motivation
Motives are expressions of a person’s needs and personality.
Even though you may find it comforting to believe that all your actions are a result of conscious deliberation, but at times, unconscious motivations may lead to actions without your complete awareness or understanding. Your behaviour is controlled on many occasions by external forces, though on many other occasions you may do things based on your discretion, for their intrinsic value.
Motivations are not static in nature. A person may be motivated for one job but when he or she is put for some other job, the same person may not feel motivated. The levels of motivation also vary from person to person.
A leader must understand what gives people the impetus to act in a particular manner to achieve alignment of their goals with his/her own goals.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams
Different theories help us to understand better the concept of motivation:
If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. -Jack Welch
In a tough market crowded with multiple sellers, only those with a distinct competitive advantage can survive. This holds good not only for businesses, but also for individuals. What renders you a competitive advantage is your ability to be different than others in a way that you stand out of the crowd.
Leadership is the projection of personality; It is a combination of persuasion, compulsion and example that makes other people do what the leader wants them to do.~ Field-Marshal Sir William Slim, outstanding British and Allied commanders of World War II.
What is Leadership?
Leading is the art of influencing and motivating people to perform in a manner to achieve a common goal. The sum total of a leader’s roles, tasks and responsibilities and interpersonal influences constitutes leadership.
A leader should not only be intelligent (with general problem-solving capacity), but should also possess high integrity and character, equally concerned with ends (doing the right thing) and means (doing rightly).
Effective leaders have to work ceaselessly, and communicate with the people to motivate them in an efficient manner.
What makes a Leader Effective?
Numerous studies have been conducted and considerable amount of research has been done to find out how a leader becomes effective. Various theories have been postulated from time to time to zero in on the factors that influence the effectiveness of leaders.Read more
The largest part of what we call ‘personality’ is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness. ~ Alain de Botton
We know that some people have a naturally strong mental built, and there are others who are inclined to worry more.
While each individual, in any capacity, needs to cope with anxiety, but the ability to overcome anxiety is absolutely essential for any leadership role. During prolonged periods of uncertainty, leaders must manage their own anxiety as well as the anxiety of their team.
Anxiety may be due to various reasons ranging from environmental factors, to medical condition, to genetic conditions or substance abuse or due to a combination of these factors.
Each of us would have experienced those moments, when we felt our palpitation going up, a strange churning in the stomach, or sweat on the brow just before an important meeting, or an exam, or before getting a medical report, or on any other occasion.
Whatever be the reason for anxiety, it depletes a person of his/her strength.
Continued anxiety causes excessive worry.
You suffer from a victim mentality and believe that nothing ever works for you;
You are restless most of the time, feel irritable at the slightest provocation.
Your concentration suffers and sleep is disturbed and as a result you tire yourself out very easily.
Those with an anxious disposition, can blame it on their mental constitution, their genes, their fate or can work upon it.
Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~ Winston Churchill
As easy as it is to speak your mind out, doing so tactfully requires that a person acquire some distinctive skills. Tact is the talent that allows you to gracefully convey what you stand for and make your point without ruffling feathers.
Tact or diplomacy is needed for managing a vast gamut of relations – ranging from personal relations, to relations with co-workers, to business relations, to national and international relations. Parents need tact to deal with their children, as much as teachers need tact to deal with their students. You need to act with tact while dealing with your boss, your partner, your spouse, and even your friends.
Your ability to get along with people, while maintaining your individuality plays an important role in determining your success path.
In business, tact is absolutely essential when it comes to managing diverse group of people. Leaders, with the use of tact and conviction can get people to willingly do what they want them to do, in a manner so convincing that they relate to the leaders’ idea as their own and feel motivated to work towards it. With the increasing degree of complexity and stakeholders, leaders need to act tactfully at each and every stage to influence, persuade and align people with their objectives.
Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill. ~ Christopher Parker
Procrastination is too familiar a tendency that we all give in to at some point or the other. If you think of those several occasions when you waited till the last moment to do your work, it won’t take much for you to realize that procrastination is more of a behavioral problem than a time management issue. There would be instances when:
You managed to complete your assignment just at the nick of time.
You were so lost in surfing the net that you ended up doing a report past its deadline.
You did not pay up the bill till the last moment and then paid the fine for it.
You did not leave on time and turned up 15 minutes late for the urgent meeting.
Mostly you would be aware of what you should be doing and when, and yet you simply can’t get yourself to do certain tasks. As you postpone your work and leave it for the last second, many things that were not so pressing before, suddenly become urgent and call for your attention.
Music and rhythm find their secret way into our soul. ~Plato
We all listen to music, often being oblivious of the mysterious way in which it affects our mind. So profound is the effect of music on human emotions that it can energize you, recharge you, freeze you in the moment, make you nostalgic or boost your mood on a day when you are feeling low.
Here are 4 ways in which music helps us to improve our state of mind and performance at work.
The effect of listening to good music is the same as the effect of seeing a beautiful painting or work of art. It releases endorphins in the brain and recharges us. Mental stimulation can improve brain function and enhance work performance.
At an altitude of 5,000 metres in the Siachen Glacier, the levels of oxygen in the blood of a healthy solider is similar to that of a patient with severe lung disorder at sea level. Prolonged stay at these high altitudes presents a completely different set of medical challenges.
In addition to the constant threat of enemy action, life in the glacier is all about combating long periods of isolation, making do with tinned food, struggling for clean drinking water, living in cramped temporary shelters without electricity and the absence of a host of things taken for granted by civilized society.
—Beyond NJ 9842: The Siachen Saga |The book captures stories of stories of courage and resilience of Indian soldiers posted at Siachen Glacier, the Highest Battlefield on Earth
Resilience is not a one off event
Resilience is your ability to sustain under difficult circumstances for prolonged periods of time, while maintaining your resolute, energy, hope and self belief.
More often than not, our emotions drive our thoughts and behavior, and come into play when we make decisions. While most of us love to believe that we work on reason and deliberation, the truth is that our behavior is highly influenced by sentiments, intuitions and emotions.
A person who is inspired or motivated by a purpose can do things beyond the ordinary. On the other hand, a person who finds himself in a hopeless situation, may dive into the depths of despair.
Recognizing the power of emotions is of paramount importance for perceiving the implications of emotions on your behavior and for developing the ability to make Emotionally Intelligent decisions.
‘When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.’ – Dale Carnegie
‘The purpose of opposition is to oppose everything and propose nothing’, tweeted Dr Debroy.
Indeed, I thought, how easy it is to notice the frailties, foibles, and follies of others while ignoring those of your own!
We all indulge in criticizing others sometime or the other. It comes almost as easily as breathing to most of us. There have been times when I have felt the urge to criticize surging in my heart and given a piece of mind to someone or expressed my displeasure of a person behind his back.
An odd question popped up in my mind.
Why do we like to criticize others?
I tossed this question to my buddies, sought their views, organized my thoughts around it, and jotted them down. Here is what it shaped up like.
It is a matter of fact that to be critical of others is built into the human nature. All human beings are prone to form their judgment and opinion about what is ‘desirable’ or ‘undesirable’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘proper’ or ‘improper’ behavior. Any action of others’ that does not match the expectations, values or judgment of another becomes a potent subject for criticism.
Someone rightly said
Criticism is the disapproval of people not for having faults, but for having faults different from your own.