December 2013 | Nano Tools | Leadership
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: G. Richard Shell, Thomas Gerrity Professor, Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics and Management, The Wharton School; author of Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success (Portfolio Penguin: 2013)
Boost your success and satisfaction by keeping your motivation level high.
What motivated David Ferrucci and his team at IBM to stay committed, despite years of challenges, to create an artificial intelligence system (Watson) that could beat the smartest Jeopardy! players in the world? Renewal rituals.
The inner satisfaction that comes from doing what you love, also known as intrinsic motivation, acts like slow-burning fuel, allowing for sustained effort over a long period of time.
But outer reward-based drives are equally necessary, providing the intensity you need to do your best work. In fact, the highest levels of performance result from a combination of both inner and outer motivations. To continually power yourself and your team toward your goals as you encounter obstacles large and small, create motivational springboards incorporating your own unique set of renewal rituals into your routine.
These rituals can be as simple as listening to a favorite song before every high-stakes meeting or rewarding yourself for hitting financial targets by buying a new suit. For some, motivation comes from external sources, which can be positive (inspiring role models) or negative (nay-sayers who “challenge” you by declaring something too difficult or impossible to achieve). Identify one or more that provide you with intense, short-term motivation, and then make it a habit.
Using these five techniques, and turning them into regular rituals, can make the difference between success and failure. Incorporate one or more as part of your routine to help you stay energized and working toward your goals.
Motivation is the energy that gets you up every day and keeps powering you past the obstacles and towards your goals. With only one life to live, why not live it with purpose and energy? Why not make it memorable? What have you got to lose?
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, Director of Innovative Learning Solutions at Wharton Executive Education. It is jointly sponsored by Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton Professor of Management Michael Useem, Director. Nano Tools’ Academic Director is John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton Associate Professor of Management, and Director of the Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI) at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management.
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