Motivation Vs Inspiration

As an executive or a manager, how many of us have given someone a raise in salary in hopes that it would motivate an individual to step up their effort?

I was recently approached by a salesperson requesting a raise in their commission levels. After a day of deliberation, I granted their request: a mistake on two fronts! First, when I informed the representative of the 5% increase, his response was, "I wanted more." On top of his lack of appreciation, the optimistic side of me mistakenly thought I would witness him walking in the next day with band aids on his fingertips from the flurry of sales calls he made due to his new raise.

Like many people we work with, this person is a "good" individual. Regrettably, his sales performance has been mediocre at best (even after much guidance and multiple offers to help prospect for him).

A new mentor of mine and someone who is quickly becoming a good friend, recently given me advice that I have been applying in my daily life. His father told him growing up to follow the rule of the Three P's: 1. Never break a promise. 2. Do not panic, the situation often changes. 3. Never piss anyone off.

Reflecting on this new set of rules encouraged me to draw upon all the advice I have taken to heart from reading hundreds of books, listening to multiples of CD's, and the many mentors I have been blessed to surround myself with.

There is a core truth in my learning that I have fought and struggled with until this recent exchange with my salesperson. "Expanding energy trying to motivate people is seriously a waste of time." Wow! Did a motivational speaker just say this?

Although I have built a career vested large in motivation, I have been studying it through the blurred glasses of one very impactful time in my own life. In my first two years of sales, my performance barley bought in commissions of $ 18,000 each year. Needless to say, my results were sub-par.

However, just like the sculptor who is able to chisel out a masterpiece from a block of stone; I had a manager and friend named Charlie who recognized my potential and guided me to become the top salesman in the company the very next year.

Over the years, I have consistently and mistakenly given him the credit for stimulating me to become my best. Did you catch that? Motivating me. I have been wrongly assigning him credit for the action that took place.

The truth is, Charlie did not motivate me. I asked him recently, and he agreed. The motivation was already there lying dormant inside of me, and that is what attracted him to "inspire" me. There is no doubt that Charlie changed the course of my career through his ability to awaken my motivation for achievement by his proper guidance and his positive influences.

There is a clear difference between motivation and inspiration, and my hope is that you would accept this truth before you are 20 years into your career.

I recall a quote from a book I highly recommend, Good to Great. This will be featured in next month's Pink Penguin Solution's Newsletter. "Spending time and energy trying to motivate people is a waste of effort." The real question is not, "how do we motivate our people?" If you have the right people, they will be self-motivated. -motivate them. "

This recent managerial experience has reemphasized for me the importance of having the right people on the sales bus. Thank you all for sharing the journey of continuing learning in business with me!

Source by David L Washco

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