with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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G’day Chiefs,

Today we're going to look at something that you are potentially struggling with as we hit the halfway mark in February – how to get motivated again, and by doing so, get back on track to winning the year.

It sounds brutal, but chances are good that you’ve already lost your motivation at work. I know this because in January I chatted to some senior executives from multi-million dollar companies and they have been telling me, “Hey Greg, work is good. It's a good job, pretty good people, good company and good money. The problem is, it's been almost too good for quite a long time.”

This is nothing new to my ears. Human beings are creatures of comfort and we can fall into this trap over time, especially if we’re not pushing any new boundaries. It starts to get into our psychology that maybe we're not doing as much as we know we probably can. And this is where these two executives found themselves; no mojo, no energy, stagnant.

When we really got down to the bottom it, they were actually waiting for someone else to get them out of this comfort zone and offer them a fresh opportunity. However, being stagnant and waiting around for things to happen is likely to result in the opposite outcome; they aren't good prospects for someone who wants to give them an opportunity or a new job. Those chances are likely to go to a busy person because as the old adage goes, they're the ones that will get the job done. What's more, by not being challenged, you've got time and energy to burn and you can fall into some silly habits or start playing politics unnecessarily, which drives you further away from where you want to be.

Why can you lose motivation?

First and foremost, it’s possible that the work you're doing is no longer making a perceivable impact in the world. You go to work every day and you just feel like you can't see a result anymore.

Another reason is that whatever you’re doing has lost excitement. There's no rush to it, there's no energy around what you're doing. If there's no excitement for the job, if you’re just in cruise mode, then it's going to be hard to get motivated. One of the solutions to motivation is finding flow, and flow is at the intersection of a challenging task and your capability. In a state of flow, you're being pushed, you're being stretched into new territory; it's also time-bound, which means you've got to do a certain task to a certain level of capability. And there's a certain risk that if you fail, you're going to lose.

What if you don’t get motivated?

On the contrary, if you go to work every day, and there are no real deadlines, there's nothing really on the line, there's, there's no consequence to not winning, then you're going to slowly lose that motivation. Ultimately, it will start to cost you your reputation.
When an executive is walking around the office or going into meetings, and you can see they've got a purpose and a drive to achieve something, that's meaningful. And you can see the energy and motivation spread to their team.

If this isn’t the case for you, it starts to eat away your pride…and this is going to affect your track record. And that, as you know from the GREAT Method, is going to cost you in your career.

So in the end, Chief, if you've lost your motivation, your mojo, the very first thing we need to do is get hope back into your career and into your job. And the reason you should be willing to take on a challenging role or a big opportunity or a hard project is that it gives you a little bit of hope. And hope is a really personal thing about doing something meaningful and being proud of the work that you do.

Creating hope and motivation

So the first way you can do this is to create a sense of urgency around a particular piece of work. Go really, really hard on nailing a particular project that's going to deliver real value to the organisation you work for. Get out of your comfort zone!

Chief, we've got a saying here at Chief Maker, “Great chiefs never accept the status quo.” That is, never accept the status quo for you as an individual and your level of performance or for how your team is going. You've got to raise the bar and stretch it. And if you don't know how to do it, talk to your boss. Ask what you could do better for them.

The last thing, Chief, is if you're thinking that you don't know if you can do what I'm saying above, then it's time. It's time you made a move for the good of yourself and the good of your family. It's time to step out and hand over the reins to someone else. 

A little test

Go back and ask yourself, “When was a time that I was really motivated? When I had that mojo and excitement to go to work and perform and win every day? What was going on? What was I doing? What kind of projects was I doing? What were my colleagues like? What was your schedule like? How much were you growing and learning?”

Write down five or six things that are different about then and where you are now. Once you do this, you'll know what to do.

So I hope you can find a way to put that mojo back in your day so that when you jump out of bed in the morning, you can't wait to go to work. And when you walk through the door at the end of the day, you know that you're proud of what you've done.

All right, Chief, that sums it up for the minisode.

Here’s to an epic 2020 and getting your mojo back!

Stay epic,