This is one of the manifestations of leadership. I really love the topic of motivation.
Nothing much gets done without someone being motivated! It can be difficult to get out of bed in the morning if you are not motivated. Motivation is not the be-all or cure-all for everything, but it is foundational for living a productive and successful life. Growing up in the1960’s I remember my grandmother encouraging our family members to read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Outside of the Bible and religious literature, this was one of the first books I read as an 11-year-old child. Dale Carnegie made a living from and became a guru of positive thinking.
I have always understood that one of my chief responsibilities as a leader was to be for my organization the chief motivational leader. Some call it cheerleader others the motivating officer, regardless of what it is called, It is an important aspect of leading. Because the default for many is lethargy, the bias for some is standstill. This is unacceptable and will destroy any organization that it has infected. Motivation has much to do with leadership. Allow me to give a personal illustration. No one in school, in college or seminary would have ever placed my name into nomination for the top 50 people in our school who would succeed and make a difference with their lives. So I am a great believer that while talent is important, it is overrated. I have met very talented people sitting at Starbucks drinking coffee, planning what they’re going to do some day off in the future. I know leaders who have coasted on their good looks, winning personality, pedigree or past performance. All of those would be wonderful things to possess but not essential. I know a man who is no longer young, but when he was young he was the picture of tall, dark and handsome. In addition to that he possessed a good singing voice and a very winsome personality. I asked this person to serve on a committee with about six other leaders of our district. I brought a consultant in who’d had great success building and starting churches. But as the speaker spoke I was amazed at the truth and insights and quotable material he was giving to those of us in the room. The six other pastors were writing in order to capture the good things our speaker was saying. I happened to look up at my handsome friend as he sat there with his hands folded staring at the speaker. He never wrote anything down, never engaged in the conversations, he just sat there. You see he’s on the downside of his career in part because good looks are fleeting. There are seasons in leadership and just as you must make preparation for the changing seasons, you must make provision for the changing seasons of leadership. Not just the changes, but where you are leading? How you think and lead determines everything. If it wasn’t so sad it was humorous to watch everyone else taking notes, writing down a quote they could use in an upcoming event and my other friend just staring straight ahead, oblivious to what he was missing.
Inspirational leadership is the area where I have led naturally, just as it was natural for my friend who was nice-looking and had a great singing voice. But I can’t live on my natural ability and instincts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. One missing ingredient that is needed is motivation. Motivation will help you to explain: Here’s why we’re doing this! Here is how we’re going to do this. And now I’m going to tell you the reasons we’re going to do these things. This is where inspiration and motivation meet and become a powerful force. You cannot be a motivator if you don’t believe what you’re saying and believe in what you’re doing. If it’s nothing more to you than a paycheck or place to keep warm until retirement you will never be able to motivate people. If the only goal you possess is to be successful, that will never be enough either. Everyone is looking to be a part of something bigger than themselves. There is nothing bigger in this world than the gospel of Jesus Christ! It’s the biggest and best news the world has ever heard. The message is a transforming message that is for everyone! We cannot hold back, we must marshal the forces and direct the resources and move full speed ahead. We cannot hold back, sit back or wait until a more opportune time. Not only do the times demand it, but God expects us to move ahead! You and all of us are going to be held accountable for the waste, fraud and abuse of not taking the Gospel seriously. The Gospel is for everyone. I really believe that is the motivation which is the glue that holds all the others leadership manifestations together. Motivation helps you to be visionary and strategic. It is the drive that assists you to manage your day by day tasks in order to fulfill the great commission. There is no substitute for motivation. If this does not come naturally for you, there are so many podcasts, TED talks, and books that can help you with this subject.
One Thought to “The Motivating Leader”
Brother Ron; I sincerely appreciate the reminder that is enveloped within your words. Truly the components you’ve intimated are the purpose, the power, the presence and the productivity that motivation brings. I’ve learned that the key to staying focused on motivation is to never forget what God can do through His leaders – when the leader never forgets the ‘CALL’. Long before being elected a College President, and subsequently General Supt., the (tad younger), Rev. Jim Bond spoke volumes to me when he shared this verbal motivation: “If you are truly called of God to preach the Gospel, the ‘CALL’ will be enough to sustain you through anything.” Remembering the power within the truth of those words, can’t help but keep one motivated! – Blessing, Bogie