Leadership, motivation and how to keep that 1st-day enthusiasm
Let's start with a couple of questions to help open our minds eye;
1. Whenâ€™s the last time you lost the passion for something or someone?
2. Was it a shock?
3. How did it feel?
What did you do to regain that passion or did you simply say: â€˜Its run its course.â€™
Imagine if you could bottle the initial passion and enthusiasm you once exhibited on the first day of a new job, relationship or interest? How would that change your success rate, satisfaction, and effectiveness?
Enthusiasm is important. Itâ€™s a driver, a motivator, and an enabler but most importantly perhaps, itâ€™s an inspiration. When enthusiasm vanishes everything is an uphill battle and often, progress grinds to a halt.
Should that matter? Should we say, â€˜Hey I gave what I could for as long as I could and now its over?â€™ Or should we explore what has changed or what has lead us to fall out of love with what weâ€™re doing?
Whatâ€™s probably the key takeaway from this exploration of passion and enthusiasm is learning how to be mindful about what saps our enthusiasm, what squanders the passion and what prevents us from bouncing back. Being aware of these things can prepare you even in the middle of tough times.
Think of it like driving a car down the motorway. You may appear to be driving in a straight line but every care needs that slight touch on the steering wheel to keep it on track. Thatâ€™s exactly what leaders need to do to maintain their passion.
3 ways to retain that day 1 enthusiasm.
1. Realism does not necessarily mean skepticism or cynicism has set in.Â
Realism allows leaders to acknowledge the problems, acknowledge the triggers, the signals and signs and act on them.Â After all, leaders with passion and carefully crafted enthusiasm achieve, enthuse and inspire.
2. Make the decision to be enthusiastic.Â
Sometimes it takes just that. Against all the odds the decision is made to be positive to demonstrate the passionate leadership skills that inspire the other team members to seek answers. To enthuse and empower often means people will act responsibly in the interests of the project or company. When you make a decision the decision then makes you. This is the starting point for change. People recognise the energy emanating through passion and enthusiasm.
3. Take hold of your will.Â
As a leader, you should be able to lead your own will before trying to bring others along with you. We talked about self-knowledge and mindfulness but that doesnâ€™t mean touchy-feely necessarily. It means being strong and convinced that you are on the right path. Donâ€™t fall victim to feelings, be driven by the will to do. Being mindful can show when feelings push themselves forward. Recognise these?
"Whatâ€™s the point it wonâ€™t work anyway!"
"Itâ€™s too hard no one is supporting me"
"No one thinks like me Iâ€™m fighting a losing battle"
"Iâ€™ve probably made a mistake, why did I ever think I was up to the job?" Â
This is when feelings ambush the will if you let them. Forcing that enthusiasm will make the difference. Holding onto the vision and actualizing the proposed outcome will move you forward to the goal. Actually imagining what will happen may well promote feelings of enthusiasm that others will notice. This is all about vision. It naturally lifts us up and pulls us through the mid-term difficulties or feelings of inadequacy or failure.
So how can you remain enthusiastic throughout your career?
- Look for the positives in your current role even if you do it moment by moment.
- Work towards achieving your vision every day so your actions mirror the vision.
- Keep working to be the very best you can be.
- Be open-minded, keep searching, stay curious and always learn. Research, read, watch, listen, digest.
- Be known for positives: being upbeat, polite, thoughtful, generous, respectful, motivational, inspirational and enthusiastic.