Different people are motivated by different things. As a leader, it’s helpful for you to know what motivates your team members. But even more foundational, I think, is knowing what motivates yourself.


There are a number of reasons for this, but foremost among them is this: When you know what motivates you, you can have a better sense of what will keep you happy in the long run. You may even have a better grasp on whether your current job is something you should stick with, or just a stepping stone to something more satisfying.


So I ask you the question: What’s your driver? What’s your source of motivation? Again, everyone’s different—but there are a few common motivators worth mentioning.


What’s Your Source of Motivation?


Money. Let’s start with the obvious one—money. There’s nothing wrong with being motivated by money! It doesn’t mean you’re crudely materialistic. In fact, most people who are motivated by money are ultimately just trying to provide some security, stability, and flexibility for their family—and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!


Making a difference. Others may be motivated by their own ability to make an impact in the world—improving the lives of others, or changing things in some small way. These individuals are motivated by that knowledge that they’re giving back.


Belonging. Others like to play a role within a team or organization—to have their own unique job that adds value. What motivates them is seeing how their efforts play into the bigger picture, and knowing that their contributions benefit others on the team.


Challenge. I also know a lot of people who want to be stretched, pushed past their limits. They’re motivated by having new challenges to tackle—and they quickly grow complacent in jobs that don’t involve any real difficulty or evolution.


Autonomy. Another common driver is the sense of responsibility; many of us are motivated by having the freedom to make our own decisions—and then face the consequences, sink or swim.


Acknowledgement. One more driver I’ll mention is the need to be affirmed. A lot of us just want someone to pat us on the back and tell us we’re doing a good job—and if that happens, it’s all we need!


So I’ll ask once more: What motivates you? It’s an important area of self-knowledge, and it may be useful to you the next time you face a major career crossroads.


Want to talk more about this? I’d love to offer any guidance that I can. You can contact Dr. Rick at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.

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