The Boss Show

Workplace wisdom with heart and humor

June 8, 2011

Visualizing Motivation

By Steve Motenko

Welcome to Steve’s Guided Visualization Moment.  Leadership guru Stephen Covey said that all peak performers are visualizers, so I’d like to give you a chance to become a peak performer.  So close your eyes …

It’s Groundhog Day, and the hero of our little tale … is you.

You wake up to go to work.  You’ve been working there for a year.  It’s a job you were excited about when you saw it advertised.    It seemed a perfect fit.  You hoped against hope they’d offer it to you, and when they did – whoa! ecstatic.  Couldn’t wait to tell everybody.

But as you think about commuting to work this morning, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach, and in your heart and various other vital organs.  You don’t know how it turned out this way.  The last thing you want to do right now is spend another eight hours – or god forbid nine, or ten – in that place.

Un-motivated?  The word doesn’t even begin to cover it!  All you want to do is get back in the bed and hide under the covers– so … what the hell, you go back to bed and hide under the covers … and you cycle down into this depressing spiral, ruminating on all the ways you are not motivated to go into work.  And as you ruminate, you say to yourself, “Man, I should call or write into The Boss Show.  I know what motivation is, because I know that I ain’t that.  I know exactly what pieces of the puzzle are missing for me to feel motivated to do good work…”

… and as you enumerate those missing puzzle pieces – what would you say they are, by the way? — you fall asleep dreaming that your workplace has been relocated to the pit of hell …

… and you wake up, and the first thing that comes to mind is your job.  You’ve been working there for a year.  It’s a job you were excited about when you saw it advertised.    It seemed a perfect fit.  You hoped against hope they’d offer it to you, and when they did – whoa! ecstatic.  Couldn’t wait to tell everybody.

And the incredible thing is – it’s even better than you’d imagined.  You never knew it was possible to actually love going to work every day.  I mean, sure, it’s got its little frustrations, but for the most part you can’t imagine enjoying a job more.  Heading in to work, you think about how lucky you are, and you daydream about all the pieces of your job that are working to keep you so motivated … and you think, “Man, I should call or write into The Boss Show.  I know what motivation is, because I’m one of the rare ones who has all the puzzle pieces I need to thrive in this job … ”

What are those puzzle pieces?  Whether you woke up on the Good Witch side of Groundhog Day, or the Bad Witch side, we’re really curious what you see as the puzzle pieces that lead to happily motivated employees…

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About the Author

Steve Motenko is an executive coach, leadership trainer, and co-host of The Boss Show, a weekly podcast on workplace dynamics. Steve and his Boss Show co-host, Jim Hessler, are co-authors of Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guide to Building Your Leadership Platform. Steve lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, with his wife and dog, whom he loves, and a cat he tolerates usually pretty well.

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