A creative life is built upon self-motivation and trust. The motivation part is obvious, but the trust part a bit harder to understand and to accept. It took me years and a bit of success to gain the confidence I needed to trust the cycles of motivation and non-motivation. Or in creative terms, inspiration and lack thereof.

After beating myself up this morning for several hours because I wasn’t making a dent in my to-do list, I realized I wasn’t motivated and had to . I did. I ate an early lunch, real early, and that was fun. I texted my daughter, that was fun, and I swept out the garage. Then I grabbed my laptop, came outside, and here I am; working away with enthusiasm. I’m not going to quantify results by the ‘hourly time’ I wasted this morning, but rather by the quality work I’m doing right now – and that reminds me…

You can’t motivate people but you can create a context in which people are motivated.

I came across the line above in a great blog article on motivation and leadership. Great leaders know that they can’t force feed motivation. However, they can create an environment in which people feel vested in the outcome, are supported, and have the freedom to express themselves through their work – this promotes self-motivation and engagement.

What Are You Doing to Create A Motivated Team?

  • Trust your employees or team members to self-regulate. If they care about their work and your team’s mission you won’t need to micro-manage. Enable them to lead as well as follow.
  • Invite new ideas and don’t judge them quickly. When people are invited to contribute their own ideas they’ll be motivated. Maybe not every day, but they’ll learn to trust their own rhythms of engaged work time and when it’s time to take a break to refill the tanks.
  • Lead by example; Don’t be afraid to schedule time to ‘play‘ together as a team, as a division and as a company.

About Billy Kirsch

Billy is a Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning songwriter with numerous Top 10 hits to his credit. His team building programs and keynote speaking presentations help people tap into their creative abilities to become more innovative and engaged in their work. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and organizations throughout the world.