Thoughts on Leadership: Motivation Leads the Way

Motivation is everything. It sparks action that leads to achievement. It opens up possibilities. It inspires people to work. It is crucial to effective leadership. To lead with purpose – to lead toward any goal – you will need strong people to follow you. To gain followers, you need trust. All of this requires that your people are motivated. That motivation will help to create trust in their leadership and will move them to get things done.

Leadership without motivation will surely fail.

Mike Ferry, founder of The Mike Ferry Organization, a leading real estate coaching and training company, is an example of a leader who motivates with great success. He has a natural ability to teach and train real estate agents to achieve their personal and business goals.

Just last week, Mike wrote about motivation and leadership in a monthly newsletter to Executive Management Group Brokers and Managers. He talks about the trickledown effect of motivation – how it starts from the top with the leader. But who motivates the leader, you may ask? Mike does such an extraordinary job explaining this. The way he inspires agents to produce at high levels is amazing.

The following excerpts are from the Mike Ferry Organization October 2010 Newsletter #7:

One of the more difficult parts of our jobs as a leader is the ability to continually motivate our salespeople to do something productive." If you look carefully at the word motivation ... there are two distinct parts to the word. Part one ... "motive" ... part two ... "action."

You've seen the question asked time and time again, "Who motivates the motivator?" The motivator does not need to be motivated if they have strong, specific, exciting, challenging goals that they are passionate about and driven to achieve. When the leader does not have specific goals for themselves that are exciting and inspiring ... then you as a leader are going to have a very difficult time motivating others to take actions, just as it's difficult for you to motivate your staff when they have no goals and objectives.

So obviously, it's a trickledown effect. You and I as leaders have to have specific goals and objectives that we're excited about every day and can't wait to achieve. When we have those types of goals and objectives, our attitude about success and achievement and taking actions becomes very apparent to those people around us. Our very presence in the office... from the moment we walk in the door ... how we walk to our office ... how we carry ourselves ... how professionally we're dressed and look ... the smile on our face ... to the tone of our voice ... tells everybody that sees us our level of motivation or "lack of it." So the truth is it becomes extremely difficult to motivate your salespeople into action every day if you're not a motivated person yourself.

So the real job that we have in front of us is to be an inspired ... enthusiastic ... energetic ... smiling ... "happy to be around person" ... all of the time when our salespeople are around us. If we're not, we will then in essence be de-motivating our team.

At the same time, we have to sit down with each and every salesperson and determine their level of motivation so in all of our conversations with them, we can discuss how the activities they're involved in lead them to the achievement of the goals they set. If they don't have specific goals and objectives, it's our job to help them set them.

Are you prepared to take on this task? If the answer is yes, let's go do it ... if the answer is no, we need to talk.

Motivation is an ongoing process. As a leader, you will find yourself constantly motivating your team to get things done and to far exceed expectations. Consider this your top priority and you will find that a lot of other things fall into place.