As a leader, what is your goal? To motivate your team or to inspire them? Life is not an either/ or and there are only a few absolutes. Sometimes you learn to live life in the grey area. At times your team needs a jump start and it is your job to motivate them. Teams get stuck, they have tasks they have to push through and times when your team has low morale. Other times things are going along just fine, but to take your team, ministry, or organization to the next level you need to release your team to soar. A leader in that position is inspiring his team to be innovative, be daring, soar.
The Motivated Team.
First, a definition, motivation is defined as having the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. “Keep staff up to date and maintain interest and motivation” As a leader when you need to motivate your staff, then you will focus your time and energy trying to get your staff reengaged and interested. You are trying to get them to do something they may or may not be interested in doing. This illustration will help visually describe motivation.
Marguerite Bro tells of a minister who took his little child to a circus. She writes,
“The clowns were particularly good and the last one of them was a little fellow wearing a very wonderful high hat. While he was bowing elaborately to a dignified woman, his hat fell off and an elephant sat on it.
“The clown gestured wildly at the elephant, but the beast sat still. He waved and shouted again and again, but the elephant never budged. Angrily the clown stepped behind the elephant and kicked with all his strength and hopped away with a sore foot in his hands.
“Then, frantic with anger, the little clown turned back to the elephant and tried to lift him off the hat. Defeated and in complete despair, the clown sat down and started to eat peanuts. The elephant was interested in peanuts and got up, ambled over, and begged for one!”
That was a powerful illustration for that minister. He realized that he’d just witnessed a spiritual object lesson: You can’t accomplish anything for God by crabbing and kicking at the world (or your spouse, child, neighbor or co-worker!). -Morning Glory, January 12, 1994.
Motivation is like trying to get the elephant to do what you want when you want it. Too often we treat our team as the clown did with this elephant. We view our team as people who should bend to our will. Three quick ways to motivate your team.
You should communicate with them often. Every Monday morning, I connect with the team. The goal is to see if there are things happening in peoples’ lives I should pray for or any issues that might affect their work I can help them navigate. I would love to speak with them face-to-face but we are usually deployed. Your staff needs to know you value them, and communicating with them is the best way to show your appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice.
Don’t do as I do, do as I say. I heard that growing up. You can’t expect your team to work hard or behave in a different way if you don’t model the behavior. If you show your excitement about the ministry milestones, your kingdom co-workers will get on-board and work to achieve those ministry goals. Positivity is infectious — but so is negativity – especially in the church.
Give your team more input about how they do their ministry. Ask for their input and get suggestions on how they can improve their areas of responsibility. Most teams have gifted people with innovative ideas, but they may not share them with you unless you specifically ask them. If you want to empower and motivate your people, you need to take their suggestions and implement it
Motivation gets you over the hump while inspiration allows you to soar. – Keith Haney
The Inspired Team
Inspiration should be as the green of a fertile meadow on a warm evening after rain: a rich soil from which a breathtaking fragrance rises in a spiral of color. Inspiration can be chiseled like an antique dagger, or rough as a block of prime matter in the mind of a philosopher. It can caress you like a woman or hit you with the punch of a prizefighter. Inspiration is the certitude that, out of nothing, something is going to happen.—Serge de Gastyne, “Inspiration,” Music Journal
This gives you something to ponder. More on how to inspire a team next week.
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