Archives for posts with tag: motivation

ImageSitting staring at a blank screen (which in my head I still think of as a blank sheet of paper – old school!) has become a bit of a regular event during the last 30 days! I spoke in an earlier post about the importance of determination to complete a challenge such as the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’ve had to dig deep into my determination reserves… but I’ve finally made it – day 30 is finally upon us!

Setting time aside every day (I never did quite manage to get ahead of myself enough to write more than one post a day and schedule them to post in advance, as some of my fellow participants have done) to write a blog post, sometimes with the kernel of an idea already in my head and sometimes with that perpetual blank screen and blinking cursor staring back at me, has been quite a challenge.

But I have managed to do it and it has been a real reinforcement of that old adage about being able to achieve anything if you put your mind to it. I mean, I know that there are many, much bigger challenges in life than writing a few hundred words and sending them out into the ether every day. But it’s a small example of deciding to make a change and following through on that decision, without allowing the everyday issues, priorities and distractions to get in the way of achieving your goal.

It’s been tough at times to stay on course during a very busy period, but it has been very rewarding to make the time every day, not just to write and post my own blog, but also to read a variety of other blogs on a wide range of subjects and make connections with lots of fantastic bloggers, all of whom have been really generous with their thoughts, comments, tips and advice.

I have definitely got the taste for blogging more regularly than I was before undertaking the challenge, and I intend to keep it up, though daily blogging is something that I’ll keep in reserve for future challenges of this sort, I think!

And overall, I’m feeling a sense of satisfaction for having made it to the end of a challenge I set myself. So well done to all my fellow Ultimate Blog Challenge participants, thank you for making it so enjoyable, and I look forward to staying in contact with you.


ImageAlongside the work I do with my lovely wife as part of Miller & Miller Consulting Ltd (check out our website for more information on the services we offer), I have been keeping an eye out on the job scene and applying my standard career development approach: applying for anything that looks interesting, challenging, and that I feel I could convince the recruiter and myself that I could do!

It was following this approach that I came across and applied for a role that I felt I had the skills set to be able to succeed in, though not necessarily all the desired experience. It looked like a really interesting and definitely a very challenging role!

So I thought “what the heck?!” and put in an application, thinking no more of it. Not long afterwards, I got a call to tell me that I had been short listed. I was a bit amazed, I have to tell you! But delighted as well, of course, so I set about preparing for the mammoth recruitment day. 

It was a bit like the Krypton Factor – the only test missing was the obstacle course! (Suggestion: don’t actually make that joke to your prospective employer, I got blank looks!) We had to lead two group activities, attend a couple of meetings, prepare for and deliver a case study interview, go on a tour of the site and, finally, have an interview. Phew!

During the day, I got to know the other 4 short listed candidates and was filled with ever increasing trepidation. They were all at least 15 years older than I, with more than double the work experience, and most of them had extensive experience in the job in question, or something very like it, or at least the appropriate sector. Uh oh. 

You know those property TV programmes where a couple go on and say “we’d like to buy a 3 bedroom house, with a large garden, in the middle of a (specific) town, and our budget is £x”? And then the hosts choose them 2 or 3 houses that meet that criteria at least more or less and take them to see them?

And then there’s always one “wildcard” property they chuck in at the end to try to sway them or show them other options if they’re willing to bend on some (or all!) of their criteria? And that wildcard is usually a barge moored up somewhere 50miles from their target area, no garden, no room to swing a cat, but COME ON! It’s a BARGE ferchrissakes! The whole countryside is your back garden!?

Well, that was me. 4 well-proportioned, mock Tudor, detached properties in suburbia with large gardens, off road parking and room for a pony. And me – a houseboat. 

Ah well, I thought, nothing to lose here but your dignity! Give yourself a talking to, pretend you’re confident, look everyone in the eye, and just give it your best shot. It’ll be great experience, if nothing else, but only if you try your hardest. 

So, with my loins duly girded, I carried on throughout the day, and – amazingly enough – made it through the whole process without making too much of a fool of myself. Hurrah! A success, and I could go home happy.

ImageWhat motivates you to perform highly at work? Is it primarily the promise of financial bonuses that drive you? I’m willing to bet that – while a bit of extra money might be nice – it’s not your key motivator. I suspect you’re more likely to be motivated by feeling valued (perhaps being thanked or otherwise recognised every once in a while), or stretched and challenged, or that you’re able to make a difference and be creative. Does that sound about right? What else motivates you?

If you have staff, how do you motivate them to perform well? What sort of rewards and benefits (financial and otherwise) do you employ? There are some fantastic thoughts (and great animation) in this video, which focuses on a number of studies on motivation and presents some rather surprising findings:

Whilst I was already of the view that financial bonuses are not the primary motivation for most people to perform well, I was still surprised on watching the video that so many studies have reached the conclusion that financial imperatives can actually have a negative effect on performance. So what did you think? Did the video make you think again about your assumptions about what motivates people to perform well? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And if you enjoyed the animation as much as I did, why not check out the RSA’s website for plenty more on a wide range of subjects.