Heera Training & Management Consultants

eNewsletter October 2009

Dear Everyone,

Hi! And how are you all? I spent most of September glued in front of the TV watching the US Open Tennis tournament. I was sad to see Federer lose but glad that an up and coming player, Del Potro had just won his first grand slam. This I believe will make men's tennis even better. But my favourite story was that of the Ladies tournament where against all odds, Kim Clijsters (a wild card entry) won the singles title. It always gives me great satisfaction when an underdog unexpectedly and against all odds, achieves something beyond expectations. It tells you that little miracles do take place in life!!

I also had a great time during Hari Raya, visiting all my friends and eating all that lemang and rendang. I think I must have put on at least 2 kilograms in weight. But this is something I relish i.e. visiting dear friends during these wonderful festive occasions, sharing their food and re-igniting old friendships, acquaintances etc.

This month I want to talk to you about one of the principal laws of motivation i.e. 'Before you motivate, you have to be motivated yourself first'.



To motivate effectively, you have to firstly be motivated yourself

I have done numerous ‘motivational programs’ for organisations and surprisingly, 95% of these programs are for down line staff; rarely if ever for managers. And when asked, most organisations reply by saying that, “These down line staff are de-motivated and we thought a short motivational course will help”. I have nothing against this, but just imagine what will happen when these ‘motivated’ staff go back to the office the next day. They will be full of enthusiasm and ready to ‘change’, and whom do they encounter – a de-motivated superior who tells them, “Just do the normal things here, don’t do anything clever!!” A great motivational course just gone down the drain!!

The problem here is a simple one – a de-motivated superior will always de-motivate staff!! Imagine if the roles were reversed i.e. superiors going for a motivational course and then immediately after the course, going back to office full of enthusiasm. Imagine the ‘amount of motivation’ they would be able to impart to their subordinates! Who wouldn’t want a boss who comes to work smiling, greeting everyone and assisting in ensuring a positive work environment.

In the situation above, the organizations have not considered the first law of motivation and that is to motivate, you have to be motivated first. And this is the irony at the workplace. We spend a lot of money trying to motivate lower level staff rather than those in management and the results usually never meet our expectations. The secret to motivation in organizations is simple – you need to have motivated superiors!

Training however has its limitations because it can be used only to motivate ‘temporarily’ rather than sustain the level of motivation. Those in management will therefore have to constantly find other ways to motivate themselves. Some simple but effective ways are as follows:

  1. Always have goals in life. Write them down. Start simple by having a personal, career and a financial goal. You will be surprised at how these goals can serve to motivate you. If possible, look at them once a day at least.
  2. Read self help books and listen to motivational tapes. I consider my car as a classroom because I listen to motivational CDs every time I drive (which is a lot). I not only learn I also get motivated. Imagine listening to Anthony Robbins talking to you early in the morning as you drive to work. It sure gets my adrenalin flowing.
  3. Watch movies and listen to music that motivates you.
  4. Find a mentor or friends who are positive in their outlook and who can assist and guide you to achieve success in life. When you interact and mix with motivated people, you automatically become motivated!
  5. Finally, always try to have a positive outlook in life. If you want to find the negative things in your life, there will be many and if you are looking at the positive things in your life, there will also be many. My advice is to spend more time looking at the positives. Only you have control over what your mind thinks!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I do hope all of you will have a great month ahead. Take care!