On Super Bowl Sunday, while over 100 million viewers party in front of the flat screen, players and coaches from the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will have their sights set on the ultimate goal in sports—a world championship.
Considering that even a Hall of Fame professional football career only lasts about 15 years, NFL players have that added urgency to achieve legendary status. The all-time greats will tell you that signing that first multi-million dollar contract is one incredible day, but their careers are driven by a near physiological requirement to be faster, stronger and more prepared than the opposition. When an entire team plays at the same level, combined with supportive coaches and sound front office leadership, first-class organizations come together.
No, NFL athletes don’t have what we’d consider normal jobs, but applying a similar concept of intrinsic motivation applies just the same. A promotion and a raise, or year-end bonus for exceeding expectations are outstanding events that should not be overlooked. However, these are singular rewards that don’t exactly motivate. There needs to be an internal desire to–simply stated–get better every day.
“If you don’t want to be the best, then there’s no reason going out and trying to accomplish anything.” –Joe Montana
For athletes, that means putting in additional time on the practice field, the gym or film room. Our version may entail taking industry-related classes at night, learning a new software program or brainstorming ideas on how to solve a company-wide problem.
The ideal work culture places extrinsic rewards within an employee’s grasp, but also encourages them to work harder because they want to—not for fear of punishment or solely because a bonus is at stake. Employees motivated by both factors will go above and beyond more often than their reward-driven or unappreciated counterparts, contributing to that winning company atmosphere.
Great leaders provide the tools for success, but what steps are you taking to stay motivated every day and avoid moments like this?