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Chapter 16. Different Strokes for Differ... > Make Your Team Self-Motivating - Pg. 202

Different Strokes for Different Folks 202 The objective of motivation is to stimulate people to exert more energy, effort, and enthusiasm in whatever they are doing. The best motivation is self-motivation. Your job as team leader is to provide a climate in which self-motivation flourishes. Train the Team to Work Together When people are accustomed to working as individuals, it is often difficult for them to put aside their personal agendas for the benefit of team collaboration. Inasmuch as traditionally employees' careers are made or broken by their individual activities, some members will look at teammates as competitors instead of partners. Although these members may give lip service to cooperation and collaboration, in the back of their minds they are thinking: "I'm more concerned with my own advancement, so I'd better show the bosses I'm better than my associates." Sometimes the personal goals are honorable. Sara's goal is to make enough money as rapidly as possible so she can stay at home with her children. To Cora this job is only a stopgap until she can get into law school. Tim's dream is to work as a telecommuter, and he is using this job as a way of making contacts that could help him do this. In order for the team to operate successfully, the team leader should know the personal goals of each member and try to fit them into the team goals. If a project requires understanding legal im- plications, assign it to Cora. If research has to be done that could be accomplished at home, Tim or Sara can be accommodated. Often, personal goals are more devious. In order for George to make himself visible to higher man- agement, he boasts that every success was due to him and every failure the fault of other team members. Maria flatters the team leader to gain special favors. Curtis thinks this team is moving too slowly and is trying to transfer to what he considers to be a more dynamic group. It's not advisable to accommodate these subversive goals. Leaders must be impervious to flattery and alert to self-serving agendas. Firm action by the team leader can keep these members from disrupting team harmony. If they cannot be brought into line, they should be removed from the team. Create an Enthusiastic Environment When we are enthusiastic about something, no matter how difficult it may be, it seems easy. The excitement, the joy, the inner feeling of satisfaction permeates the entire activity. It stimulates one to put all of one's energy and emotion into the project and ensures that the objective will have a strong probability of being achieved. How can we make our team more enthusiastic? To get the team to be truly excited about something, you as team leader must generate that passion in the team. However, teams are often required to do things about which they don't have that deep commitment. One way that helps develop enthusiasm is to find something in the assignment about which they can become excited. By focusing on this, real enthusiasm will be generated. FYI