“Most employees are motivated, energetic, committed, enthusiastic & loyal …. except the eight hours they work for you” – Tom Peters

Yep, all people are motivated – do you believe that? It’s true.

Have you ever asked yourself “how do I motivate my people?”. If you have, you wouldn’t be the first.

The good news for you is, motivating your team is not your job. But don’t relax, that doesn’t mean there is no work for you.

Your job is to inspire them because they are already motivated.

The question is, are they motivated by what your business stands for? Do they see the work they do as important and making a difference? Does it have purpose? What’s in it for them to play at 100%?

You may say, “well I pay them, I’m giving them a job, that’s what’s in it for them”.

That, is a transactional relationship, which ensures they will only give you the bare minimum required to keep the pay cheques coming.

To get a truly motivated team, one that goes beyond the minimum effort, you need to go beyond providing the minimum job. A job is nice – and in a depressed economy it’s fantastic … but we’re not talking about depressed economies. We’re talking about getting a team that is truly firing on all cylinders.

Enough of my raving antics, let’s hear what others have to say on the subject. And it is a subject that is becoming more and more important given the changing values of the workforce (in case you didn’t know, industrial age employment relationships are out – workplace 2.0 is in full swing) AND the importance of the ultimate competitive advantage – company culture, cannot continue to be ignored.

There are some great articles below accompanied by some of my all time favourite books when it comes to understanding what makes people tick. Enjoy …..



Motivation vs. Inspiration … what’s the difference?

This article does a good job of explaining the difference.

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10 Ways to Inspire Your Team

If you’re looking for something tactical vs. philosophical, this article is a great starting point. The intro alludes to a larger corporate audience, however the 10 strategies outlined provide good ‘meat’ for you to test out. Really, this is all about leadership and I’m pretty confident every leader could improve with these 10 points. My favourites are #4, 8 & 10.

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The Motivation Iceberg

This article hits the nail on the head. While Joshua mixes up our terminology that we’ve worked so hard to define (whatever … semantics), he gives a great framework on what motivates for which behaviour.

Getting this right with your team can mean some learning is required for you … but isn’t that what leadership is all about?

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Books that Help

Here are a couple of book resources for this topic that are sensational. Check them out below …

Drive – by Daniel Pink

If you deal with people (yes that is everyone) then knowing what motivates them is pretty helpful.

In this book Daniel exposes the three things people seek

  1. Autonomy – being in control
    Mastery – getting better and growing
    Purpose – knowing what they do matters

This is a great read. Here’s a quick review of the book.

Start With Why – by Simon Sinek

This one I’ve talked about before (and with good reason). Considering what Daniel Pink teaches us above, being able to tap into the purpose of your company and use it as a source of inspiration for your team can be a game changer.

Here’s a link to a great summary of the book, and if you’re not up for reading the entire book, here’s a link for the 18 min TED talk Simon did. You’ll get the message from that.