Mark Twain once said that the key to his success in life was “… that I was born excited.” Most entrepreneurs I have met feel exactly the same way. That doesn’t mean they don’t need a little boost along the way or the tools to translate their excitement into motivating others on their team into action.
Very often when people think of successful entrepreneurs, the first thing that jumps into their minds is motivation. It’s a fact that your ability to motivate yourself and others will ultimately determine how successful you are in business and life. The more motivated you and your team are, the more you will accomplish. Motivation destroys procrastination, encourages positive action, boosts energy, and increases performance at every level of any organization.
The successful entrepreneur knows that few great achievements are the work of a single person. As a leader, you must serve as a catalyst for others so great things get done. It is your ability to perceive the need for motivation, recognize what kind of motivation will serve best, and reward motivated individuals, that ultimately leads to team success.
One of my favorite motivational stories is that of Charles Schwab, legendary leader of U.S. Steel under Andrew Carnegie and the first man ever to be paid a million dollars a year. He was a master motivator. Schwab had a mill manager whose people weren’t producing their quota of work. “How is it,” Schwab asked him, “that a manager as capable as you can’t make this mill produce what it should?”
“I don’t know.” the manager replied. “I’ve coaxed the men, I’ve pushed them, I’ve sworn and cussed, I’ve threatened them with damnation and being fired. But nothing works. They just won’t produce.”
The conversation took place at the end of the day, just before the night shift came on. Schwab asked the manager for a piece of chalk, then, turning to the nearest man, asked: “How many heats did your shift make today?”
“Six,” replied the man.
Without another word, Schwab chalked a big figure six on the floor, and walked away.