Day 19 – What NOT to do if you’re trying to motivate others!

Do not be cheap!

If you want to impress a high level of quality amongst your team, don’t scrimp on the small stuff. Treat them with a high level of quality. For example, if you’re taking your team out on a retreat, get good snacks. Go out for a nice dinner. These things may seem superficial but it doesn’t break the bank to spend a few extra bucks here and there to make your team feel special. Surprise them with an afternoon off just “because.” Don’t worry about productivity that afternoon or money lost. I remember one of my old bosses saying once that if we weren’t happy, we wouldn’t work as hard. We were treated with the utmost respect and care by her, and our team clicked better than any other team I’ve been involved in.

Do not keep work to strictly work.

Take your team out to lunch. Celebrate a holiday at your place with a white elephant gift exchange or a meal. Take your team off-site and have a “Team Day” where you focus on your personal lives instead of work for a day. Get creative.


Do not ignore your team.

Be a student of your team members. Get to know their quirks, personalities and what makes them tick. If you only focus on work, it will be incredibly difficult to motivate and inspire. Work is extrinsic; figure out the inner workings of each team member. Learn some psychology 101 and use it to help your team function in the best way possible.

Do not be a slacker.

If you say you’ll follow up on something the next day, do it. Don’t let it slide. If you say you’re initiating a standing meeting, don’t cancel it half the time. There are few things more unmotivating than not being able to count on your boss, the schedule, the plan etc. Don’t be a flake!

Do not be a hypocrite.

If you don’t lead by example you will not be able to motivate anyone else. It all starts with YOU, the leader, and if you demonstrate integrity and a willingness to go exactly where you’re asking your team to go, your team will eagerly follow. Be willing to get on the floor and wash their feet.


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