Posts Tagged ‘motivation’



What’s My Motivation? How to Reward Your Team

Understanding how to motivate people is key in any business and specially in non-profits. Early in life I thought most people were motivated by cash. After all happiness comes with more stuff, right? Well, that’s not been my experience. While most of us want to live well, most people I know would give money for the satisfaction of doing something they love. While I still have a long way to go in becoming a better manager of people, here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years. Praise publicly, criticize privately. There’s nothing more encouraging to a team member than the praise of a superior in a public setting. The opposite, however, is true for criticism. Over the years I have made the mistake of inverting this equation with dire consequences. Take a chance. Everyone wants to have an impact in their work environment. One of the most motivational things…

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Why Your Next Diet Will Fail

Chances are you have started a new diet this week. And chances are it will fail.  I recently heard a man describe his failed diet attempt with what he called a “food coach.” His predicament is unfortunately the norm and not the exception. After seeing a friend lose close to 40 pounds, this man decided to join the same program and hired his now thinner friend’s nutrition consultant, which he named his food coach. During their first two-hour call he got the marching order on what to do for the first week, including keeping a log of all his caloric intake while using his coach’s advice on what and what not to eat. At the end of week one he had gained 7 lbs.  During the second call, his coached fired him. “Whenever you are ready, you can call me, “ he recounted the conversation to several men as he…

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Excellence vs Perfectionism and the Cost of the Impossible

No one will argue that we must strive for excellence. After all who wouldn’t want a life, a business, a team, a ministry built on the best we can do and become. It’s the ultimate calling of a believer: to give our best to God no matter the task at hand. But those of us who are perfectionists, even the reluctant ones (and I will include myself in this group) will hide our true agenda of the pursuit of the never-attainable perfection behind the noble pursuit of excellence. This is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. Find a reason that no one can argue with…excellence…and hide underneath it a more nefarious motivation…the pursuit of the impossible. But in my struggle with the perfect, I have learned that ultimately, perfectionism costs me not only a lot personally, but it can wreak havoc in the organizations I lead. After all… It is…

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The Liability of Being Passive

There’s a big difference between being easy going and being passive. The first allows you enjoy life more than someone who’s always worked up about the little things or the stuff he cannot control. Being passive is a problem. It assumes that the old saying “que sera, sera” or “whatever will be, will be” is true. While being easy going might be a virtue, being passive is a liability. I have enough self awareness to know that I’m not easy going by any means. My natural tendency is to micromanage just about everything. I’d like to think I have become better with age at letting things go and trusting capable people to do their jobs. But It’s not an easy thing for me. Just ask my wife. As I think about my propensity to be more passive than I’d like, I try to find out what motivates me not to…

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