Motivation Requires Purpose

The Purpose of Chasing Squirrels and Balls
This week’s question comes from a supervisor asking about how to best motivate her team- “…they just don’t seem to care anymore, and the quality and effort of work is not what it used to be. I saw your posts about being self motivated but how do I motivate others?”
I am a runner. I love it. I do my best thinking while running when I am alone with my thoughts and feel mentally refreshed when I am done.
I have a goldendoodle who for years was my running buddy, she would happily put in 10 mile runs with me and the girls in the stroller.
She is too old to run now. So it’s my younger springerdoodle’s turn to be my running partner.
Except he is not motivated to run for the sake of running.
He sees no purpose to it. And literally lays down in the middle of the road causing me to come to a sudden stop, testing the strength of my rotator cuff.
However, the minute he sees a squirrel- he becomes Usain Bolt.
Involve a ball, and running is all he wants to do.
We both find purpose in running but our motivation is different. I am chasing my desire to do deep thinking and work through problems, Banry is chasing squirrels and balls.
The mistake often made in teaching leaders how to motivate, is that the emphasis is only put on discovering how individuals are motivated.
What is left out is the connection to purpose.
If you want to motivate your team, you need to not only understand different ways to motivate- (don’t over complicate it, get curious and have a conversation about motivation) AND you need to connect them to purpose.
Purpose is the fuel that ignites the internal motivation that you, as a leader, strikes a match to.
Without purpose, the flame burns down the match and the leader gets burned, annoyed and pissed off because they don’t see results.
Bantry sees zero purpose in running in rain. I can throw 69 balls and release 87 squirrels and he’ll slow clap my wasted efforts with the condescension of a cat.
Motivation requires Purpose.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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