Fri, April 12, 2024

Be Your Own Morale Booster

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  • Self-motivation can be the key to success for young managers

There is no gainsaying that a motivated manager will always be a better performer. An inspired person can do wonders. On the contrary, a demotivated executive is prone to fumbling despite having better skills. According to research conducted at the University of California, motivated employees are three times more creative than those who lack motivation. Having been running a diversified business conglomerate for decades, one could not agree more with the highly ranked varsity’s discovery. I have seen how motivated employees are more productive and dedicated to their work. Spirited managers have often surprised me with their ability to meet challenges and overcome hurdles with rare ingenuity. It is obvious that they are destined for higher assignments and better positions in companies. With motivation being such a prized asset in the business world and other spheres as well shouldn’t managers strive to remain in a motivated mindset all the time? Also, can’t business behemoths with their vast resources ensure that their managers and other employees remain stimulated and galvanized all the time? It is easier said than done. Top management has for long used reward and punishment as the standard way of keeping executives in a productive working mode. Does the practice always bear results? Unfortunately, not! External motivation has its limitations. Companies have been struggling to ensure that the majority of their managerial cadre, particularly the younger lot, remains more than eager to give its best and excel. Various means have been used but the results have turned out to be mixed. No unqualified success. What could the reason be? Companies have failed to ignite the fire within their young executives. Most senior managers and so-called mentors display ambivalent and lukewarm approaches when it comes to actively keeping their direct reports inspired. Bright youngsters too have begun understanding and realising this inherent flaw in most enterprises. Enter self-motivation. It does make sense to tap your inner source of motivation instead of depending entirely on a pat on the back from someone else. An inner fountain of inspiration is always preferable to a pipeline whose tap may be turned off anytime.

But is it possible to motivate yourself?

Heidi Grant Halvorson, a motivational psychologist and author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, asserts, “Employees have more control than they realise over their ability to build and sustain motivation in the workplace.” The most impactful factor for motivation is a sense of progress. More and more entrants in the corporate world are realising earlier than ever before the need to take things into their own hands and remain fighting fit in the highly competitive management arena. They no longer wait for a pat on the back from their reporting authorities, however encouraging that may be. Thanks to tech-enabled access to worldwide information and knowledge they are opting for new mindsets and habits to expedite this career progression. In The Progress Principle, Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer talk of the following three factors that inspire managers to put in bigger efforts: love of the work itself, the desire to receive recognition, and a sense that their work matters and connects them to others. Thus, self-motivation comes into play. I have witnessed many young managers carving a way for themselves. They were quick to identify their strengths, skills, abilities, interests, passions and values and align them with their personal and organisational goals. This self-awareness rid them of the deep-rooted psyche for external endorsement which was, anyway, not under their control. However, this does not mean that such self-aware and self-motivated young managers threw company protocol and systems to the winds. Far from that, being self-motivated they started tracking their assignments or projects with greater sincerity. This was because they had determined to control their own development. Organisational progress followed naturally as the big picture was always on the top of their minds. It’s not that self-motivated executives escape all pitfalls. In their enthusiasm to stand out among their peers, they often bite more than they could chew. Far too challenging goals make them falter. Therefore, I have always advised choosing SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) milestones. Achieving such objectives enhances enthusiasm and bolsters confidence. It is equally vital for young managers to celebrate these successes. It keeps them and their teams in high spirits and also avoids burnout. I have come across many self-motivated youngsters who succumbed to self-created pressures. No accomplishment is worth the loss of one’s physical and mental well-being. Always be ready to fight another day. Self-motivators can ensure repeated good performance only through regular self-evaluation and frank feedback from diverse sources. The ‘what if’ method of planning can help daring young managers tackle unexpected obstacles more effectively. Multiple plans need to be chalked out beforehand for different emergencies. Over-enthusiastic executives tend to neglect this basic tenet of management. Do inspire yourself but don’t get intoxicated in the process. Zeal and caution work the best hand in hand. READ ALSO:  
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MARCH 2024

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