It's a Myth to Believe Motivation Alone Creates Business Success

Motivation is in my DNA, passed on for generations. I respect it. I cannot imagine life without it. (Though I could chill out alot better if it wasn't!) 

As a kid, meeting expectations wasn’t always easy. High performance was simply expected. And at every age, committing the mental and physical energy to achieve such goals, and taking responsibility to do so was just part of the deal in my family. 

Entrepreneurs, does this sound familiar? Does it sound like you? Motivation is innate in you, too. You naturally drive forward, with big plans and a world-changing mission, but initially as a solo achiever. 

Start-up companies are formed because of people like you—innovative leaders with purpose and passion, incentive and enthusiasm. Of course, I appreciate all those terrific traits. But there's a catch—a motivated CEO/leader, or even a motivated team, only moves a company so far. 

Listen up:

Anyone that professes that motivation is the single key factor for your success, has dialed it down, and made it way too simplistic. Business is complex and ever-changing, and so are the people who work in it.   

Pie Chart: Business Success: 60% The People Part, 20% Business Goals & Plans, 20% Functions, Systems & Processes - Leading Edge Teams

What I'm about to say is a pet peeve for me, and I want to share it with you: 

There are well-known business coaches out there who rake in plenty of clients on the myth that motivation alone produces business success. It's the same as saying, “Take ownership!” It's a single thing, but listen up carefully: motivation alone will not make people better at their job, nor make your business soar to success.  

Junk Food

In fact, MOTIVATION IS ONLY TWO PERCENT of all that is needed to do your job well and accomplish great business outcomes. Motivation gets us excited, for sure! And it sounds and feels good, and is certainly needed for entrepreneurs to succeed—but buying into the concept of motivation being the end-all for a team of people to achieve is like only eating junk food. 

For example, potato chips taste really good, but they are too simplistic to feed your cells the complex nutrients needed for healthy function and longevity. You need vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber, water, etc.

Keeping that in mind, a healthy business cannot be built and run effectively on motivation alone!                   

If you are a CEO or leader who has said, “My team needs to be more motivated…”

Listen up:

YOU MUST PAINT A PICTURE OF WHAT COMPANY RESULTS LOOK LIKE FOR YOUR TEAM. If there is one thing that assures your business is still thriving tomorrow, it is getting good results (achieving goals and outcomes)!  

As you try to attain goals, keep in mind that the nature of business has many, many layers, including sound practices, systems, processes and tools that build upon and synchronize with one another, similar to the cells in your body. You need to be consistently feeding layers of learning, excellence, and change into your people and business for sustenance and growth. This includes:

  • Developed Business Plans (vision, purpose, master plan, reviews and updates)
  • Designed Functions and Systems (implementation, departments/functions/roles)
  • Desired People Processes (skills of leadership, including: human behavior/interaction, communication and collaborative agreement-making).         

With ongoing learning, layer each of these to build your business and drive your team effectively forward.

Fundamental Habits

There’s lots I want to share with you, but to wrap this up, I'll leave you with a few fundamental habits that help to prevent CEO failures and frustrations. 

These mindsets and practices, along with motivation factored in, help you achieve business results.   

  • Accept that business is a team sport. Learn how to trust and listen to your team; utilize each team member and their expertise.
  • Remember you can't do all of the strategic thinking. Invite others critical thinking, new ideas and discussion—in a safe environment
  • Learn how the Leading Edge Teams process of agreement and renegotiation aligns team members, and leads to effective action and improved results.This helps YOU, a CEO, avoid burnout. See: (Ace in the Hole: What ‘A+' Leaders do differently to generate extraordinary results. This workbook is available on
  • Experience the benefits of having a team—using ACE: Alignment to outcomes and Conscious agreement-making. Next, through collaboration, these set the team up to take the most Effective action. You will feel the difference when you don’t make all the important decisions yourself. Start by knowing how to articulate the outcome you want to achieve.
  • Interactive communication needs to be frequent; we recommend our delegation formula become a learned business habit to move thoughts and words into productive action. In this, your team is empowered and fully engaged when doing their part. 

CCORE Empowerment ProcessTM

All of us at Leading Edge Teams specialize in creating good business processes, skills and habits. This knowledge benefits your people and your potential. Most of all we want you to WIN in the game of business, and find satisfaction in it as you do so. 

And remember, your people are your greatest resource, and our CCORE Empowerment ProcessTM ensures that you are a leader that team members want to work with.

I bet you’re doing better than you know! Contact us anytime to find out.  

Annie and the Leading Edge Team

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