When the question “what motivates you to work?” is asked, the answer many people give is the same. Money.
While being able to provide for oneself is crucial, the researchers argue that there is something that motivates people much more than money. A common goal.
A common goal sets the route to success
When talking about common goals it is important to start with leadership. When looking back into history, leadership positions were often seen as simply managing people and they were handed down based on heritage rather than one’s own capability. At the same time, a common worker had no choice but to respect and follow the leader, or face the consequences and lose their job, income, and the way to provide for themselves and their family. People weren’t necessarily happy to follow these kinds of leaders, they often just didn’t have any other choice.
The modern employees have something the previous generations didn’t: a possibility to choose. People want to work for something more meaningful than just any job that brings food on their table. Now, people look for fulfilment and meaning, while at the same time, the field of business embraces innovation and real engagement that keep business moving on, both of which are created by motivated people who want to work for common goals.
A common goal follows a vision, the starting point of a leadership, and is crucial especially when wanting to create a motivated and innovative group of followers. If there is no common goal, it is almost impossible for a leader to control their followers and lead them in the desired direction. They might inspire people but with the lack of a common goal, people start moving to different directions.
Implementing the Golden Circle
Motivating people is always based on feelings. It is about touching the followers on a level that speaks to them through their feelings and makes them want to fight for the cause. Speaking in a manner that creates that feeling is a skill a good leader must possess.
When wanting people to buy your vision and making it a common goal, it is smart to start with the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek. Most people associate the Golden Circle with selling goods to clients, but the same principles can be implemented when talking to people you want following you and your vision. If your followers only understand what you do, they are in it just to do the job. That is, if they follow you at all. They are there for the money, not for the purpose, which means that they are neither going to risk anything nor innovate to fulfil your vision. They might be working for you, but they are certainly not working with you. Same happens if you try to reach people by explaining how you are going to reach your vision. In both cases, you don’t have a common goal.
Instead, you must talk to your current and potential followers – the people you want in your team – with the message of the inner circle: by explaining to them why. This “why” is the vision you have; the feeling and meaning it gives to people. The change you want to make.
In good and bad, no great leader has ever gotten people to follow them by explaining what they are going to do or how, or by just simply paying them. They have motivated people to follow their common goal. If a leader cannot motivate their followers to believe in the common goal and get them to change their behavior to reach the goal, the idealized future state cannot be achieved, despite the money they pay.