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January 29, 2018

26 ways to success - M for Motivation - " Motivation is when hard work beats talent - when talent does not work hard " article published in The Hans India on 30th April 2016

Motivation is when hard work beats talent - when talent does not work hard

Motivation explains people’s behaviour. It represents the reasons for their actions, desires and needs. Motivation is one's direction to a behavior or what causes a person to repeat the same behavior. A motive is what prompts the person to act in a certain way, or at least develop an inclination for a specific behavior. Motivated people are happy, perform better and do not need too much supervision. They tend to work on their own and are prized as employees.

A Great Motivator: This particular motivational practice is credited to one of the top CEOs of India. The common myth is that customers are always external to the company. The customer has to be motivated at all times. But there exists a concept of internal customers.  An Internal customer can be an employee or a taker of service from another department of the same company. In that way the employees of the company are the customers of the HRM department. How to motivate and delight the internal customers?

We need to understand that the employees spend up to 8-10 hours at the company. That is nearly 75% of the time that he is awake. So what are the feelings that the employee is taking home? Is the employee happy about his work? Does he come to the office bubbling with enthusiasm? Or is he grumpy and irritated? What is his opinion about the company? What does he tell about his company to his family members? The incident cited below will reveal at least some answers to the queries posed.

The CEO of the company is a very busy man. He is a globetrotting business leader. But where ever he is he returns to his head-quarters on the Friday night. He then selects one of his employees for “special treatment”. This week it is the turn of Govind Venkataswamy from the Fitting division. Govind has been working in the fitting division for 7 years. He is known as a punctual, no nonsense worker. Well liked and introverted, Govind is among the vast majority of factory employees of the world. He is a part of a silent majority. They do not get the attention or the appreciation that the trouble makers get.

Unknown to Govind the CEO’s Mercedes Benz goes to his house. His entire family is then chauffeured to the factory in royal style. They are taken with due respect to Govind’s work station. Govind is pleasantly surprised (He knows that his turn might come but it is still a sort of lottery. After all there are 1000s of employees and only 52 Saturdays in a year).

Govind’s supervisor explains his work. He tells the awe struck family members how important Govind is for the company. He elaborates the initiatives that originated from Govind. Then the family is taken to the sanctum Santorum, the CEO’s office. This is the place that Govind never ever dreamt of entering. And here he is entering the CEO’s office and with his entire family!

The CEO receives and talks very warmly with the family. He has lunch with them and obligingly poses for keep sake photographs. He presents a memento to the eldest of the family. He thanks the family for giving him an excellent employee and hopes that Govind stays for a long time with the company. Govind is allowed to go home with his family that too in the Mercedes Benz that belongs to his CEO.

That is not the end of the story. Once there was a huge threat of a big flood hitting the factory which was located near the sea. The CEO calls his production in charge and tells him to rush to the factory to protect the precious machinery. The CEO drives to the factory at a high speed. He is very anxious that his factory be saved from the nature’s fury.

To his surprise a heart whelming scene greets him at the factory. His entire production staff is already at the factory. They needed no prompting. They were working in a torrential downpour. Drenched to the skin, they have already taken full precautions to see that the machinery is adequately covered. The CEO is immensely satisfied. He says to himself “My Company is in safe hands”. When the employees feel that the company is their own the company is slated to be very successful and long lasting. There is no better asset than motivated employees.

Self-Motivation is that ability of a person to do what needs to be done, without influence from other people or situations. Self-motivated people can find a reason and strength to complete a task, even when it is challenging, without giving up or needing another person to encourage them. In the modern world there is not much hand holding or motivation from others. People have to be self-motivated. In the technology driven world, employees have become separated from each other and in many cases are situated thousands of kilometers away and in this scenario self-motivation becomes an imperative tool for survival.

A great Self-Motivator: Sergey Bubka the great pole vaulter from the USSR can be cited as the best example of a self-motivated individual. Sergey Bubka was the first athlete to go over 6 metres in the men’s pole vault. And he broke his own world record. Not once not twice but hold your breath 35 times!

He broke the outdoor world record 17 times and the indoor world record 18 times. Bubka lost his outdoor world record only once in his illustrious career. After Thierry Vigneron of France, broke his record in 1984 at the Golden Gala international track meet in Rome, Bubka subsequently reclaimed the record on his next run, just minutes later.

People were very curious at his phenomenal success. Bubka once explained “Every new world record attempt makes butterflies fly in my stomach. It is a height no one in the world has ever cleared including me. There is fear, apprehension and tension. The only way to overcome that tension is to do be done with the attempt”. And that is the story of one of the greatest self-motivator of the world. Bubka is fighting the entire world including himself. He wants to prove to himself that he is still the greatest athlete ever born.

How to be a great self-motivator

1.    Be Positive: It always pays to be positive.  Try to look at the positive side of things. The confident salesman always approaches the customers with great confidence. There can only be two responses from the customers. He most probably will say No but there is also a good chance that he could say YES too! Keep away from negative people and negative motivators. Anyone can be negative but its takes a great person to always remain positive.

2.   Walk the talk:  Don’t expect others to do for you what you will not do for them. Do what you expect others to do. Demonstrate the way and let others learn. Have realistic approach to life.

3.    Accomplish simple things in life and reward yourself with every success:  Life is a journey and there would be lots of obstacles. Reward yourself with every small success and celebrate.

4.    Goals should be written down and they should be the guiding force: goals to be achieved have to be written down. World domination was a goal that Bill Gates cherished and achieved.

5.   Help others: Helping others is a great elixir of life. When we let others achieve and live their dreams, we become more responsible and more target oriented. It is no longer enough to win alone, we need to win and win big along with the team.

6.    Share and see the positive effect: Share your success story. Now-a-days everything is in the open public domain. Some of the greatest universities of the world have kept their courses on the web and have openly announced that any one in the world could learn their courses and prosper.

7.   Don’t be afraid of failure: Failure is the best teacher. Do not fear that you have lost. Find out what led to the failure and work to see that you don’t fail again. Failures are the stepping stone for success.

8.  Invest in yourself: Do not neglect on getting the latest in training, knowledge and skills. Knowledge is power and we all need to upgrade knowledge and know about the latest that is happening in our particular field. The person who relaxes even for a short time will very quickly realize that he has lost the race, forever!

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