“There will be times when our motivation and passion are challenged by the demands, expectations and responsibilities placed upon us, or which we place upon ourselves, but it’s what we do about it that counts.”
Have you ever felt weary as a leader? Have you ever gone through a phase where you just wanted to give up – or have you given up? Ever experienced seasons where you lost the motivation to lead? Then you’re in the right place, reading the right article. Welcome to the reality of leadership – you are not alone.
There will be times when our motivation and passion are challenged by the demands, expectations and responsibilities placed upon us, or which we place upon ourselves, but it’s what we do about it that counts.
Most leaders do not become de-motivated overnight, because there is often a build-up of circumstances or challenges that result in them feeling de-motivated or burnt out. Some symptoms of a de-motivated person include: stress, ill health, boredom, defensiveness, loss of passion, tiredness and depression. Factors can be internal or external, such as lack of teamwork; lack of praise and appreciation; lack of direction and support; untapped potential; environment, and lack of confidence/low self-esteem.
I share a story in my latest book, ‘THE WHOLENESS EQUATION… Living a Life that Adds Up!’ which explains how last year I became so de-motivated that I was ready to give up ministry and leadership. I wrote: “I went through a major shift in April 2011. Nothing seemed to be bearing fruit – everything at this time was either just about being maintained or was leaking finances and resources. I was fully persuaded that, whilst the world was in recession, the Kingdom of God was functioning prosperously as always, so what was it? I had reached a point where I had had enough, I was finished with ministry and business, and I was contemplating what I would do next… I booked to go away to a Christian retreat centre for three days, where I literally said, “God, You speak, or I know it’s time to shut everything down!” I wasn’t joking; these weren’t empty words. Everything in me sensed that this was a pinnacle moment for me in my walk and ministry, and if God was no longer blessing what I was doing, I wanted to move to where the blessing was.”
Needless to say, during those three days God spoke, and my passion and focus were reignited.
Motivation has been described as a passion for something; a clear and achievable goal; enthusiasm; a deep, personal mission and a driving force. All of these definitions help us as leaders to think about our motivation for leading and serving, because the reality is that there are times when we lose our enthusiasm, and goals no longer seem achievable or clear, as life and the challenges of leadership intervene.
Earlier, I identified some factors of de-motivation, so the question is, “What can you do to overcome and maintain your motivation to lead?” Here are some tips.
TEAMWORK – Remember, leader, no man is an island, so bring your team along with you by delegating where appropriate; ask their opinions about how to approach tasks – they may know of a better way of doing something. In turn, you share the responsibility, and they feel valued and part of the vision.
PRAISE AND APPRECIATION – Leaders, at times, can feel unappreciated as followers relay what isn’t working more often than they share what is. This can leave leaders feeling unappreciated (but God!). So develop a culture of praise and appreciation, by intentionally appreciating and celebrating individuals for their contribution, and watch how what you sow in others you will also reap.
HAVE CLEAR DIRECTION AND SUPPORT – Clarify your vision; set achievable goals; ask yourself, “What does support look like for me?” One person’s support may be to be listened to, whereas another’s may be to do something. Understand what you need and ask for it!
UNTAP POTENTIAL – To remain motivated, do something you haven’t done before; step out of your comfort zone; make an effort to try something new, and draw on your hidden potential and that of your followers.
ENVIRONMENT – There’s a saying, “A change is as good as a rest.” As I mentioned earlier, while attending that Christian Retreat, I was able to gain a clearer perspective. Go somewhere you haven’t been before to enjoy a new environment or to learn from it.
BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE/SELF-ESTEEM – Take time to identify what you lack confidence in, and begin to list all the things that you do well. You might be surprised how much you have going for you. List the areas you need to develop, and put a plan in place to achieve those developmental areas.
COMMUNICATION – This fact is key to maintaining your motivation and bringing people along with you. If your followers don’t know what you need, they won’t know how to support you.
Leaders, the Kingdom ofGodneeds you – motivated, well, passionate and focused – so be encouraged!
Jacqueline Peart is Founder of DCUD Ministries and The Wholeness Academy. Her new book, The Wholeness Equation, is out now. Visit www.wholenessequation.org for more details. You can follow her on Twitter @jacquelinepeart