Last week we had a field day with inspirational quotes and how they can come from anywhere, any department and inspire leaders differently. Some quotes pointed directly to a specific aspiration. Some could be attached to a number of successful areas with one’s business. But most of all, it was tied to something. And while my list included 10, I held onto this one because it rings true to this post:
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” - Henry Ford
With that quote in mind (and I promise that’s it for a while), let’s get down to what motivation truly is at its core: learning from your mistakes. It’s practically impossible to pinpoint any business that’s executed everything flawlessly. Even the most successful companies out there have experienced failure on some level.
There were probably moments of misdirection when that company was in its infancy. Or maybe that business was moderately successful, but had some blemishes in its execution. But eventually that business gets their sea legs back and frames better objectives for the future.
That stems from being proactive in the face of failure.
However you apply the Who, What, When, Where and Why to a company’s misstep, the first step is locate the gaps and break down the errors. I know that sounds generic, but it’s really that simple. Waiting around and pretending like everything’s slightly bumpy instead of what the reality may be, perilously rocky, any specs of motivation from other employees will do absolutely nothing if the leaders don’t pick up on it first.
We’ve gone over this before, but it still bears saying again: open lines of communication for the here and now, instead of tomorrow. Whether it’s you leading the pack with suggestions for innovation, or instilling a free-flowing discussion platform for all employees, active communication is a tremendous motivator. If someone shares an idea that can be great, but they just need more backing and time to put it into action, embrace those moments, regardless of how the business is doing. It’s better to have 10 discussions of “could” than 10 discussions of “can’t”, even if “can’t” rears its head every now and then during the “could”. That’s brainstorming at its finest. Eventually there’s going to be a final say, but until then, welcome as many improvements, tweaks or general opinions as possible.
Simple tweaks/transformations like that can spur other avenues for improvement, to where you begin uncovering the unproductive layers and initiate training courses to rectify the situation as it presents itself.
Because when it comes down to it, failure’s the best motivator around. Never assume everything’s tip-top all the time. Another way to look at it: You’re only on the mountaintop when you think you’re just beginning the trek each and every day you walk into the office.
And that’s enough metaphors for one day. Let us know what never makes you settle.
Image courtesy of Inc.