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Leading Teams in Disruptive Times

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March 26, 2018
Renie Cavallari

©2018 Hospitality Upgrade
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Today’s world seems to be filled with negativity, complaints, poor losers and down-right bad attitudes on every corner. It’s time to take aim at the negativity by helping people find their passion and truly shine. As they say, “only light can dispel the darkness.”
The world is full of naysayers who constantly focus on what is wrong. They create fear, anger and disappointment. Whether you are navigating change in your own organization or dealing with global whining, nothing positive comes from negativity. As leaders, it is up to us to inspire the world around us – the members of our teams – by helping them discover their true potential. We need to lead our environment and recognize the power of positivity and its influence on others. 

We know you can’t motivate another and we also know we find joy when we do the things we love (and do them well). We validated this generally accepted theory through primary research involving interviews and questionnaires with hundreds of highly motivated (and not-so-motivated) individuals to determine the most common motivators. Through this research, we found that people are each motivated differently and in fact, their motivations change over time and according to priorities. 
Regardless of what motivates, in order to increase engagement and accelerate productivity, we need to know how to turn on our own motivational switch and help our team members do it, too. We must be intentional in our approach to understanding what currently motivates each team member and then lead with connection and inspiration. We can’t assume we know what motivates each member of our team. We must ask! I sent an email to 10 people I work with closely, asking them specifically what motivates them. Out of the 10 people, I got the answer I expected from only two of them! I was surprised as I really know these people.
As leaders, we need to understand our team’s motivations. Once we understand their motivations, we can tie their work into what motivates them and then help them connect that to their higher purpose. We can align our individual and team goals with their motivations. An aligned team is a happy, engaged, productive team.
When we feel inspired, we awaken our true potential and in doing so, we naturally shine the light so others feel inspired to do the same. And the opposite is also true. When we feel icky, nothing seems to satisfy us. We are annoyed and complain. We blame. 
The only cure for this is to shift mindset … to drown out negativity and adopt an “all in” mentality by taking ownership of our lives. We can get sucked into that negative – or positive– mindset. We need to (re)discover our passion as it is life’s fuel, uncovering our motivations and leveraging them. When we do that, we gain momentum and off we go!
This doesn’t mean we lower the bar as we will most certainly get what we expect. A leader knows that people only reach their potential and really shine if they are pushed outside their comfort zone. Progress doesn’t happen for individuals or teams living inside the status quo. 
The key is in connecting the goals – even lofty ones – to the organization, the team and the individuals themselves. When each team member knows how they contribute and what it means to the team, and can identify their own motivation to be “all in” and impact the outcome, they stretch. When they reach beyond comfort, they grow and have a tendency to reach their potential. Then you have affected change. You have been an inspiring leader. 
Go shine the light!
Renie Cavallari is the CEO and chief instigating officer of Aspire. As a business leader, strategist and public speaker, she is best known for her ability to collaborate with teams of employers and employees to inspire successful change and unleash uncharted possibilities for their businesses.

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