In sports, we often talk about athletes who “want it” more than others. These are the players who show up early, who use up every last ounce of energy in pursuit of their best performance. Players for whom defeat is viscerally painful, the ones who will stop at nothing to succeed. A coach’s job is to inspire and channel this motivation and use it to maximize the team’s performance.
Motivation comes from two places — intrinsic, which comes from within, and extrinsic, which comes from external forces. As a leader, it’s easy to rely on incentives, penalties and other extrinsic motivation – “If you do X, you will get Y” — but these kinds of incentives only go so far. The best coaches on the ball field and the best leaders in the office understand that to build a truly winning culture, you need to create intrinsic motivation. Inspiring those you lead to do great work for the love of the work itself and not because they’ll receive a trophy at the end of the game or a mention in the next company newsletter.