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Monday, November 27, 2017

Fast Five Plus: Find the Fire

Self-motivation (intrinsic motivation) serves as an important tool in emotional intelligence. 

How can we "pump up" our motivational skills? Self-motivation arises in a myriad of sources - coaching or mentoring, parenting, meditation, music, famous quotes, great speeches, movies, and more. 

1. Energize the room. At Navy Officer Indoctrination School in Newport, Rhode Island, our trainer, Lieutenant Unruh always brought the fire. As coaches, we can't have an off day. I remember coaching drills one summer Sunday afternoon and had nothing. I got home and my temperature was over 101. I was just sick. 

2. Have a theme. Our team should reflect "teamwork, improvement, accountability." 

“Duty, Honor, Country.”

“Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be...They are not a slogan or a flamboyant phrase...they build your basic character; they mold you for your future roles as custodians of the nation’s defense. ... They teach you ... to be an officer and a gentleman.”

Honor is neither easy nor ephemeral. We choose honor or we choose something less. We can be both honorable and imperfect. That is humanity. 

3. The Growth Mindset. Whether we read Steve Kerr (mentors, mindset, culture) or Carol Dweck, the "mindset" mentality permeates current leadership writing. Embracing the 'growth mindset' means accepting a certainty of improvement provided we 'trust the process' and do the work. 

4. Stay on message with key words. 

Everyone has favorite words, like commitment, dedication, persistence, sacrifice, sharing, work. 

5. Structure. 

"Trust the process." We need a process to trust it. Aristotle noted, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." Find ways to win the day. 

6. Overcome adversity. 

7. Words make a difference. Words can cut; words can heal. Empower others. "I believe in you." 

8. Give and get feedback. Feedback provides more fuel for our fire. "Do your homework; gather data and details to support your feedback. Always describe behaviors, not traits. Don’t dwell on the past; instead focus on what the employee can change in the future." We should let our 'stars' know why their act worked, what's over the horizon, and what's next. Become that "better version." 

9. Fire up. 

"Make sure your servant's towel is bigger than your ego...if you want to make an impact, find your broom." 

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