Momentum Podcast: 262
Why " Motivating " Your Team Won't Work
by Alex Charfen
Why motivating your team won't work. One of the questions I get most often these days is how do I motivate my team to be accountable to accomplish, to get things done, to finish their projects, to show up the right way in meetings, to be excited about things and the question is asked in all different ways.
In fact, when I see the question posted online or when it's posed to me in a course, I always know it's the exact same question, it's just different words the entrepreneur is using because here's what all of those boil down to. They boil down to the fact that in the company that is being asked about, the elements for momentum just aren't there and if you don't have the elements for momentum, it doesn't matter how hard you try to motivate your team, it just isn't gonna work and here's what happens today.
How do you motivate your team to get more done and show up the right way? When an entrepreneur asks this type of questions, it typically indicates that the elements for momentum aren't there. Is your team excited about what you're doing?
Full Audio Transcript
I am Alex Charfen, and this is The Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few, who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.
Why motivating your team won't work. One of the questions I get most often these days is how do I motivate my team to be accountable to accomplish, to get things done, to finish their projects, to show up the right way in meetings, to be excited about things and the question is asked in all different ways. In fact, when I see the question posted online or when it's posed to me in a course, I always know it's the exact same question, it's just different words the entrepreneur is using because here's what all of those boil down to. They boil down to the fact that in the company that is being asked about, the elements for momentum just aren't there and if you don't have the elements for momentum, it doesn't matter how hard you try to motivate your team, it just isn't gonna work and here's what happens today.
A lot of times, entrepreneurs who don't have the right elements for momentum, they don't have the right things in place. They're convinced that they need to start doing other things to motivate their teams. Running contests, having happy hours, doing pizza parties, and all kinds of other auxiliary and excuse me for saying this nonsense because those things don't motivate a team to actually do better work. Those things distract a team from work that probably doesn't feel very useful or very fun but that doesn't make sense because here's what you need to get your team into momentum. Forget about motivating. It's temporary, you can get someone excited for a short period of time, but if you want your team to get into momentum, if you want them excited about the work that they do, if you want them totally engaged and bought in, then you have to have the elements necessary for momentum and number one is a compelling destination or outcome. Where is your business going? What is your business going to accomplish? What is that, a compelling destination that every single member of your team believes in? Now here's the challenge.
In most companies, this is completely and totally unclear or the compelling destination is hit the next financial milestone or the next outcome is accomplish something for the business but it's not as exciting as it should be. It's not compelling to the people in the business. It doesn't make them want to drive forward and it doesn't get them excited about what they're doing. You can change this immediately in your business so here's how you make it so your compelling destination will consistently renew and your team will always be excited about it. You create a client-centric mission. There's a full podcast on this but you basically answer four questions, who are you going to help, how are you going to help them, what's the change you're going to make, and how will you know if you're successful. Any company can use a client-centric mission like I just told you indefinitely to get your entire team excited because watch, for my business, if I said, "All right guys. This year, our entire goal, this is what we're going to do. We're gonna make five million dollars."
Just listening to this podcast, you can feel the energetic transmission of we're gonna make five million dollars. It feels completely flat. No team's gonna get excited about it, in fact, there's some very public examples of people who have thrown out revenue numbers and they're not doing so well. In fact, one of them is an organization Cadey and I worked with a little when we were in real estate, Keller Williams Realty. We did a lot of work with Keller Williams offices and branches and regions but we didn't do a lot of work with the corporate office. In fact, we did some and it was a really challenging environment to work with. Keller Williams has this saying, "Win-win or no deal," and I used to joke around that their corporate office was, "We win, you deal," because it was really hard to work with them. A couple of years ago, Gary Keller, one of the founders of Keller Williams and now I think he's chairman or CEO, came out and had a stated goal that he wanted to be a billionaire and in fact from what I was told and this is third party information but it's now pretty public, he went into a meeting with his executives and told them their job was to make him a billionaire.
Energetically, when you hear me say that, how does it affect you? How does it affect how you feel? How does it affect how you want to work to move forward towards that? Are you excited about making somebody else a billionaire? No, most people wouldn't be, but here's what's exciting. What's exciting is when you have a client-centric mission that gets everybody in your company excited about what you're doing and clear on your mission. I'll share mine, and remember, all I'm doing is answering the questions, who are you going to help, how are you going to help them, what's the change you're going to make and how will you know you're successful. For us it's we help visionary entrepreneurs who can't turn it off and want to make a living just as much as they want to be successful, and we help them by creating frameworks, systems and strategies that help them grow world-changing teams and build massive businesses fast, and the change we make is that entrepreneurs lean into their strengths and ignore their weaknesses so that they can go out and make their greatest contribution and we will know we're successful when we are seen as the place where any entrepreneur can build a world-changing team.
When I say that to my team, when we read it at the beginning of our targeted interactions each week, when we share it with other people, when we share it at conferences, we always get excited about it and that compelling destination of helping entrepreneurs build world-changing teams is what gets us excited and moving forward. Gary Keller coming out to his executive team and saying you guys need to make me a billionaire, I don't know how excited it got them. There's been some serious turnover at that company and for the past couple years, it's just watching huge teams of agents and huge teams of producers for Keller Williams leave the organization and nobody can say it's tied to the fact that Gary told his team to make him a billionaire but I can tell you from observation, I believe it goes back to maybe not the date of his announcement but to that type of thinking. See, when you forget that you're working for your tribe, for the people you're helping, for the people your company affects, for the people your company's life changes, then it becomes very shallow what you're doing and your team is not going to be compelled.
So when you have a client-centric mission, it changes everything and here's what happens. When you have a compelling destination and you give your team clear accountability, here's who does what, and then clear perspective along the way as to whether they're moving forward. So what are the scoreboards, the systems. What is giving people perspective as to what they're getting done? Because when you have these things in place, your client-centric mission that your team's excited about, clear accountability so each person on your team can work without worrying about bumping into each other and a clear scoreboard, systems that show you where you're going, you will not only motivate your team, you'll get them into momentum, and when people get into momentum, it's amazing what happens. Not only will your business grow because we want your business to grow, but when your team gets into momentum, when there's a compelling destination, when they understand what they're going to do, when there's clear scoreboards, those three things need to be present, here's what happens. You get your team's discretionary time and this is one of those magical things about creating momentum. See, when you create momentum in somebody's lives, you take over a part of their subconscious and conscious minds.
So when they're driving down the street, in the shower, when they're talking to friends in the back of their minds they're solving problems at work for you because you've given them the conditions for momentum. They will give you more time. It's almost like they can't help it but they're going to want to because when human beings are in momentum, that's when we grow.
That's the second thing that happens. When you put your team in momentum, every person on the team will go into an accelerated personal growth curve. So every person that you're already investing in in the form of salaries will now provide you a greater outcome for that same salary just because you put them into momentum and when you put your team into momentum, they have a compelling destination and they know what they're supposed to do and they know what the people around them are supposed to do. You as the CEO coach success along the way and you never get into this place of trying to motivate.
Because motivating your team really doesn't work. You might be able to come in for a day or two and get everybody riled up and get them going in a direction but if they don't have a clear outcome that they can trust, that every step they take forward they know they're moving towards something, if they don't have clear accountability where they know what they're responsible for and the people around them are responsible and if they don't have clear perspective to know that they are winning, your team will not be in momentum and you will find yourself asking one of those questions. How do I motivate my team? How do I hold them accountable? How do I put more systems in place? What platforms should I use? What apps should I use? What structure should I use? I must be doing something wrong.
The fact is, if you don't have clear outcomes for every person on your team, clear accountability, what they should be doing and the people around them should be doing and clear scoreboards, you will always be trying to motivate your team and there's a reason I put motivating in quotes in the title because as entrepreneurs when we get into that place where we're motivating, where we're trying to use our energy to compel the people around us to do things, when we're trying to push the people around us uphill, it is exhausting and it is one of those things that will wear us down as an entrepreneur. It will bring up the quitting fantasy of wouldn't it just be easier if I went back to doing it all myself because when people around us aren't in momentum they feel like constraint. When a person on our team isn't in momentum, they feel like dead weight and I'm sorry to use the words but it's true.
If you've ever managed people, you know what I'm talking about. If you've ever led a team, you know what I'm talking about. When somebody on the team isn't in momentum, when they're not excited about the destination, when they're not checked in, when they're not giving you their discretionary efforts, they actually feel like the opposite. It feels like you're carrying them, supporting them, pulling them along, pushing them along, compelling them forward rather than them doing that themselves because they're in momentum.
As an entrepreneur, if you feel like you are motivating your team or trying to compel them to get stuff done or trying to "hold them accountable" and they're just not doing what they should, maybe it's time to examine whether you have the elements necessary, not optional, for momentum. Because if you find yourself motivating, pushing, prodding, trying to get your team up and out of the water and going forward, you probably are missing either clear outcomes, clear accountability, or perspective and scoreboards along the way, because when you have all three, people can't help but to get into momentum and when you're missing one, two, or three out of the three, you will always find yourself trying to motivate, push, and get people to do what you want because they're not in momentum. You can change everything by putting these things into your company today.
If you're ready to take your business to the next level, then we have some information for you that will help you understand exactly what you should be having your team do, what is it that you need right now. One of the biggest areas of wasted entrepreneurial effort is putting time into the wrong thing at the wrong time. Far too many entrepreneurs are investing their time right now in elements and in items that they don't truly need to move their business forward from where it is today. If you want to be focused on the right things at the right time, if you want to understand exactly where you are as an entrepreneur, if you want to know where you are on the path to entrepreneurial success go to billionairecode.com. Fill out a couple of questions for my team and we will give you a full report on where you are on the billionaire code, what you should be focusing on right now to create the most momentum and what's coming next so you can anticipate what you will need. Go to billionairecode.com, answer a few questions, and we can't wait to connect with you.