Posted: July 29th, 2022
Read my classmate post. Think and write your thoughts and feelings about his post. (1 page)
Our handbook chapter deals with staffing an education program and motivating the members to do the work. I took an interest in the motivation part, probably because I have struggled to become a self-actualized person and minister. What makes people motivated has become a topic of great interest to me.
The book offers numerous characterizations of the leadership style of a motivator. It makes sense that those who seek to motivate must themselves have enough motivation. I would have a very hard time convincing someone else that a task needs completing if I could not motivate myself to do it.
I liked what the book said about trust. We have all seen what happens when people do not trust their leaders. They start talking behind their leaders’ backs, and it does not take long before the leaders start suspecting the members of plotting. It becomes hard to trust someone who does not trust you. I cannot say that I have ever personally experienced this, but I have seen it happen several times. Once a leader becomes paranoid, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to rebuild the right connections. Usually, people just part ways.
Building trust does not necessarily mean that you make no mistakes either, or I liked that the book addressed this. Sure, if I conduct myself like a bumbling fool and ruin everything I touch because of my incompetence, people will lose trust in me and will not want me coming anywhere near something that they feel passionate about pursuing. However, if leaders can conduct themselves reasonably well, people really will forgive them when they make a mistake or two. They will not, however lightly forgive or forget something a leader does because of a bad motivation or intention. Thus, if I lead, I need to lead with purity of heart, in an unselfish manner, to help other people, feel motivated.
Many of the leadership principles that this chapter sets forth have to do with how leaders treat those following them. Leaders must genuinely care about people. They must genuinely value what people can do. The book says that leaders should truly feel interested in others, and that translates, in a motivational setting, to following the tasks that another needs to accomplish.
Leaders need to listen to those following them, showing them that they not only value their input into the process, but that they trust that input. Thus, leaders should feel willing to let go of some of their authority and let people implement their own ideas. Instead of keeping everyone on a short leash, which really implies that they do not trust anyone to make solve problems themselves, leaders should let others shine. Unlike the gospel, where only one way will get you to heaven, and all other ways lead to destruction, sometimes a task can have two, three, or a hundred ways to accomplish the goal. Letting someone spread their wings a bit will help them to feel motivated.
Leaders also need excitement. I personally find this difficult because I do not show excitement very visibly. Thus, when my wife asks me if I feel excited about something, I usually respond straight-faced and calm. She will then ask me why I do not feel excited, and I will respond by saying that I feel excited. Thus, if I want to motivate people to feel enthusiastic with me, I must project my enthusiasm visually to others so that it can become contagious. And excitement can become contagious. The book says that you cannot motivate another person; motivation comes from within. However, I can display contagious motivation, and that causes something to grow in other people.
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