Motivation Is A Sugar High

I was watching a video segment of Ellie Drake on TSTN yesterday and there was something she said that just woke me up: "Motivation is of the head. It is a sugar high." She added to this, "Inspiration is of the heart. It has power. It is passion." I hope I quoted them correctly. There was just something about the way it was phrased that just jumped out at me and opened a better understanding of management of ourselves and others.

Having been a sales manager for over 25 years, I have dealt with that word "motivation" many, many times. Webster's New World Dictionary describes motivate this way: "to provide with, or affect as, a motive or motives; incite or impel." Many times I think we have used the word motivate or motivation wrongly. In looking closely at this definition, it is clearly an outside force that is the cause of the effect. So sugar high is such a great phrase to use with the word motivation! It is very short lived and must be continually prodded, modified, enhanced, changed, increased, repeated. It just doesn't last. You know its true. Just think about all those times when you were motivating your team and then it didn't work the next time, so you had to change it and "re-motivate" them. We're trying to move them with an outside stimulus.

Then I thought about inspiration. There is nothing quite like that word to me. It is just pure power in every way. She says that it is of the heart, so it is from within and that it is powerful and it is passion. Let's look at Webster: Inspiration, 1. a breathing in, as of air into the lungs; inhaling 2. an inspiring or being inspired mentally or emotionally 3. a) an inspiring influence; any stimulus to creative thought or action, b) an inspired idea, action, etc." I've highlighted a few words that indicate to me it is an inside influence, not outside.

So, as a sales manager, motivation, though very common, is not effective in the long run. It can have an affect for the short term only. People will only put up with that for so long. It's all about what they need to do for you, when, how, why and what they will get in rewards for success or punishment for failure. It's really a dictatorship of sorts.

My goal early on as a manager was to inspire. I wanted to inspire a belief in themselves that they can do and be more if they choose; that they can rise to any level regardless of what they may have thought in the past. It is much more challenging to inspire, but my, my is it ever so rewarding in comparison. I've had sales people (some that didn't even work for me) that would call me up years later and thank me for inspiring them to believe in themselves and to try and do more than they thought they could. Those comments are worth far more than money--they are priceless. They inspire me rather than the other way around!

In commercial trucks, I have started two commercial truck operations in two cities and made them very successful. What is inspiring to me about that is that they are both still doing well; still running. One I left in January of 1993 and the other I left in February of 1997. It is 2008 and they are still there, still making it happen. Some that I have had the distinct honor and privilege to work with have gone on to manage their own commercial operations or are still doing well in sales. That wouldn't be motivation. It couldn't last that long for them or me.

If I have but one goal, it is to inspire others to believe in themselves and to dream and to go for it. To me that is success. We all need to define that word personally.

My passion is inspiring others, but how do I get inspired? Dreams. I get excited about dreams of what I want, what lights my fire. To many they are strange, but to me they are powerful. Dreams are magic.

How else? I listen to audio, watch video and read books of people who believe in me and yet have never met me. They build me up and encourage me and inspire me to dream and to do. The really good ones I play again and again. I love encouragement.

How else? I have a partner. His name is Ryan Stone. He is 30 years younger than me. He is an awesome human being. He makes me laugh (hard), he inspires me with his enthusiasm and his oh so positive outlook. He is a hard worker. I couldn't ask for anything more in a partner. Surround yourself with people like Ryan Stone and you cannot help but be inspired! My relationship with Ryan is price-less. We live 50 miles apart, so we have little meetings where we meet for breakfast or lunch and it gives me about an hour to get fired up listening to him. It is magic. Thanks Ryan!

I am so blessed to be surrounded by people that encourage and inspire me and all I have to do is pick up the phone and call. Kimberly Bellamy is one. She just gives me so much encouragement and I try to give equal amounts back, but just hearing her voice, makes me smile. Her smile is so clear on the phone, you just cannot mistake it. Calling her and hearing her voice is just pure joy for me. She could light up a dark convention hall.

Warren Mason is another who inspires me. He took over my previous position and has excelled at it. I had no temperament for it, but he excels. His enthusiasm is tested from time to time, yet never fails to come through. Warren never seems to be down, but does have a sliding scale of up. That is powerful. Everything is an opportunity to him. I have learned huge lessons from Warren and he never fails to inspire me.

Greg Martin! Having his best year ever in 18 years selling commercial trucks. Others are whining, he is growing. What an inspiration Greg is. He's just a guy who works at it. He loves his family and that is the most powerful thing about him. He gave up positions and larger salaries to be close to home and have flexible schedules to be there with his kids as they are growing. That is pure devotion. It is success. I have huge, huge respect, admiration and love for Greg and what he has done, but more because of what he is. Truly an inspiration. I feel the same about Roz, his wife. She is a superstar!

Now, these people say I inspire them. Isn't that interesting? I just mentioned a few, but the list is very long and each is an inspiration to me in a different way. These are not motivations (sugar high), they are inpirational (long term!). All I have to do is think about them and my whole body smiles. Go for heart. Go for the inspiration!

No comments: