The Art Of Motivation

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do something you want them to do, because they want to do it.”  -Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

One of our colleagues said he has tired of all my sports examples of leadership. He suggested I look more often at heroes like former President Eisenhower.

Most of us don’t have first-hand knowledge of “Ike” Eisenhower. He was Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in World War II. He crafted the famous, world changing D Day assault on Normandy which changed the direction of the war. Things would be very different for all of us, but for Eisenhower’s leadership.

When you consider the heroism and selflessness our troops demonstrated on the shores of Normandy, you must revere Eisenhower’s definition of leadership.

He called motivation an “art”. While there are many things known about motivation, a leader understands everybody is different and not everyone responds the same to motivating strategies.

So, one seeking to lead pays attentions. She pays attention to the things that individuals respond to. The leader develops a range of tools and colors which allows her to craft unique leadership strategies. There is art. Bold, aggressive colorful strokes some days. More subtle, subdued strokes on others. That’s the art of it.

He also points out the essential importance of alignment. A leader teaches, exhorts, cajoles, disciplines in such a way that every teammate understands what’s expected, why it’s important and how we all benefit when those expectations are fulfilled.

When those things align, success occurs. Business thrives. Wars are won. Satisfaction is achieved.