Years ago I was having trouble leading my team. My company was growing fast and I felt like we were losing that energy we once had. I read a bunch of management books for solutions which led me to a bunch of different ways of incentivising my team. Things like more money or time off for higher performers, public recognition, internal competitions. I tried it and nothing seemed to motivate them to get that fire back.
Then one day I was out to lunch with a client when he asked me if I do any volunteer work. I told him about the Weston A Price Foundation and how I volunteer my time as the chapter leader in Ottawa. His response made me think. He said: “so you charge $1000 an hour yet you spend your time doing that for free …it must be important”
On the drive home I kept thinking about that.
Thinking about how I had never factored my time when it came to volunteering because I believed in the mission.
The next day I scheduled a meeting for the whole company where we openly discussed the purpose, the vision and the mission. We told stories about why we existed. Why we were different. Why people chose to work for us. Why they got into this field. Why we mattered.
It worked. To motivate your team, go back to the heart of it all.
Also published on Medium.