The Science of Motivation: What Really Drives Success

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If science is the understanding of how things work, then business speakers can understand and explain the science of success. Motivation is a crucial component in achieving success in any aspect of life, especially in the workplace, but it’s not that simple to create.

Steve Gilliland has been called one of the best motivational speakers to give a keynote address that’ll revamp your company culture overnight. As managers and employers, individuals can only do so much to inspire employees, and sometimes booking speakers for conferences is a great way to bring in an outside perspective.

It can be challenging to sustain motivation over an extended period, especially with the current trend of practices like quiet quitting, a flood of online articles with titles such as “Reasons Not To Give Two Weeks’ Notice” and “The Great Resignation.” Corporate motivational speakers remind audiences that while your professional contributions might be to the benefit of your employer, your career trajectory and advances are still largely independent of them. Whether you start and retire at the same company or you bounce around a number of them, the fulfillment and skills will last your entire life.

So how can companies and managers entwine an understanding of the science of success into their business model? The first step is to ensure that everyone within the organization, intern or CEO, appreciates the factors that determine your profit margins. This is because team members will feel empowered to hold leaders accountable for their role in diminishing drive and ambition. It’s often thought this is a conscious decision, but the top motivational speakers will attest that regardless of seniority, one can’t be expected to know how their words and actions will impact those around them.

By ensuring that there’s an adequate understanding of expectations across the board, you ensure consistency.

The Composition of Professional Motivation

Motivation involves a range of psychological and social factors. The most basic definition of motivation is the driving force that compels an individual to take action toward a specific goal. According to scientific research, it’s an evolving process that changes over time and is influenced by the environment one is exposed to at home or work. On the other hand, any business motivational speaker will tell you that a strong sense of motivation is nothing short of magic.

One of the most influential theories of motivation is Maslow’s hierarchy, which highlights the importance of meeting basic physiological and safety requirements before focusing on higher-level desires such as self-actualization. One can safely assume that primary wishes are being met, but how can a workplace meet an individual’s personal want for self-actualization?

Top motivational speakers would posit that the answer might be counterintuitive to those who are used to the conventional ways of doing business. Formerly, it was all about the carrot and the stick: using incentives and penalties to mold people into exemplary employees. That management style gives far too much credit to compliance. Even without understanding the science of success, it’s important to know that big wins don’t come from keeping people in line. A culture can reward bravery, curiosity, balance, and creativity while retaining a healthy respect for discipline.

Another prominent theory of motivation is the self-determination theory, which suggests that individuals have three innate psychological requirements: autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

Autonomy refers to control over one’s own life and decisions, while competence refers to feeling capable and effective in achieving goals. Relatedness refers to social connection and relationships with others. When this happens, individuals are more likely to be engaged in their activities.

Instead of instilling the idea that a person is answerable to a company or manager, enforcing the belief that workers are encouraged to take pride and ownership in their own work completely shifts the narrative. It creates an opening for passion and enthusiasm to take the wheel and steer teams in the direction of bigger, better, and bountiful wins.

The best motivational speakers in the world also attest that friendship is a simple but effective source of happiness. A popular misconception is that personal relationships are just a bridge to favoritism and politics, but it’s a bridge to a thriving workplace. There’s joy in working alongside people you trust and admire, and camaraderie can lighten the load of the busiest jobs. On tough days, having people around with whom you feel you can be completely authentic can offer support and kindness, or even just some comic relief.

In fact, it’s been seen that companies that are unable to retain employees often see decreased levels of enthusiasm from remaining employees. Not only do they bear the brunt of an increased workload or pressure, but they’re also losing personal connections.

Types of Motivation

Celebrity motivational speakers say that the science of success can be broken into two main categories:

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation comes from within, driven by the individual’s internal desire to engage in an activity or achieve a goal. This is your passion and your sense of adventure that drives you to take control of your career and make bold moves. When you love your work and the people you work with, natural gratitude pushes you to perform at your best.

Furthermore, consistently being treated with respect will give you the confidence to take risks and understand that even if you fail, it’s just another opportunity for growth.

Extrinsic Motivation

This is driven by external rewards such as money, status, or recognition. In the business world, extrinsic motivation is often used to drive performance and achieve specific goals. However, it can also lead to a decrease in intrinsic motivation if individuals feel that their work is solely driven by external rewards.

How to Apply Motivation in Your Business

Setting clear goals is essential for motivating individuals and teams. Goals are ideally specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When goals are clearly defined, individuals have a clear direction and purpose, which can increase their motivation and engagement.

When workers know exactly what their employers want, they can set their priorities accordingly and approach tasks with a higher level of preparedness. As mentioned earlier, the self-determination theory suggests individuals have three innate psychological requirements: autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

Business leaders can promote opportunities for employees to have control over their work, providing opportunities for skill development and fostering a sense of belonging within the organization. Even funny motivational speakers know that strategic feedback is no joke. Recognition and rewards are powerful motivators for individuals and teams. It’s crucial for individuals to understand how they’re performing and how they can improve.  Managers can provide meaningful feedback by being specific, timely, and constructive.

However, it’s essential to ensure that recognition and rewards are tied to specific achievements and not just given out arbitrarily. Additionally, recognition and rewards are aligned with the values and goals of the organization to keep things on track.

Additionally, it is essential to provide opportunities for employees to give feedback to their managers and leaders.

A positive work environment will only augment engagement levels. Business leaders can promote and practice open communication, providing opportunities for employee feedback and encouraging a positive and supportive workplace culture.

Failure is an inevitable part of any business endeavor. When people are chastised for mistakes, the subconscious desire shifts from progress to survival. Of course, communicating when expectations go unmet is important, but only when it’s balanced with a healthy recognition of positive contributions. Business leaders can help employees cope with failure by embracing it as a learning opportunity rather than a sign of weakness or incompetence. By encouraging a growth mindset, business leaders can help employees view failures as opportunities to learn, grow, and improve.

Intrinsic motivation is often associated with higher levels of creativity, productivity, and job satisfaction. Business leaders can encourage it by providing opportunities for employees to engage in meaningful work, develop a sense of purpose and autonomy, and recognize the importance of personal growth and development and a work-life balance.

Finally, business leaders worthy of the title lead by example. Leaders who are motivated, engaged, and passionate about their work can inspire their teams to do the same. By modeling positive behaviors, leaders can create a culture of motivation, engagement, and success within their organizations. Even if you start small, allowing this way of thinking to seep into company culture will give the organization a richer future.

What About Personal Success?

For employees who hope to rise to a management level, this is the best way to do it. You might not be a manager, but by being a supportive and rallying force at work, considering how your actions affect individuals, and lauding team members for taking risks and innovating, you show the company how effective you can be in a leadership position.

When you get to a point where you stop seeing coworkers as competition and instead understand how their success only adds to yours, you can focus on building momentum. The bottom line might seem like the most significant factor in the decision-making process, but top business speakers say that if you take a step back, it becomes apparent that too much attention to the negative can cost you the positive.

Supervisors often face obstacles when trying to progress to managerial positions because while they might be able to coordinate, they miss the importance of being approachable and kind. There’s lots more to being a great manager than providing oversight. Managers embody the ideals of the company, and when they make their subordinates feel like they’re all on the same team, they lay a foundation for an honest line of communication. That’s because no matter the rank, every employee in an organization relies on one another.

The head of a production department will have their efforts undercut if a marketing department doesn’t advertise generously, but in many cases, the culture of assigning blame can block growth and learning. Bosses walk a fine line between discipline, patience, and vision. However, there’s something to be said for taking your time climbing up the chain of command. Rapid progression can leave you unprepared to take on the challenges you’ll undoubtedly face.

Professional speakers can lay out the science of success, but to execute intelligent and purposeful ideas, the experience will serve you best. Being patient with your journey is part of what’ll build the character.

Steve Gilliland is a celebrated and acclaimed motivational speaker who has several tools to help you boost passion and joy at work. From his online store brimming with wisdom and experience to his glowing reviews from audiences who swear by the funny motivational and inspirational speaker, he brings more than some powerful words to the stage.

Click here to book Steve, and see firsthand how his practical yet visionary approach to corporate systems can give you back the sense of adventure and ambition you deserve. A workforce makes an organization, which is why so many credit this inspirational speaker with an improved set of ideals and attitudes.

“I have three words for your Motivation Bites: Amazing. Ingenious. Appealing. These videos are a fresh look at 52 subjects that will improve our employees’ professional and personal lives. Every week we take the topic of the video, which becomes our workweek theme. Thank you for taking the time and talent to make these videos available to us.”  – David B. Rowe, President, Houston Water District Management