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Motivation is critical to the success of any company. A motivated employee will work harder, and better, than one who is unmotivated. And this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with character. It doesn’t mean an unmotivated employee is intentionally slacking, it’s just that humans work better when they’re motivated. Motivation affects attitude, energy, creativity, and production. This is why good leaders motivate their people, and great leaders motivate people in the specific ways that work for each of them. Let me explain.

Most of my leadership journey has been marked by mistakes. Shaped by failures, not victories. I have gotten more wrong than I have right and I’ve got the scars to prove it. I’ve stubbed my toes on problems that could have been avoided with some combination of maturity and humility that doesn’t always come naturally to me. I’ve run a business into the ground. I’ve lost great employees because of failures in my leadership. I’ve missed out on significant opportunities because I was focused on the wrong things. If this were a list of things great leaders NEVER do I could write you a novel. Maybe someday.

Thankfully, I’ve been afforded second, third, and fourth chances. Undeserved to be sure, but I’ve done what I can to take advantage of them.