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Maintaining Team Motivation

F O R U M Two Vital Ingredients for Maintaining Team Motivation here are two important ingredients for maintaining motivation at high levels among your team members: 1) Giving recognition; 2) Increasing visibility. There are many ways to add these ingredients. The most basic is to tell people inside and outside your department about what your team is doing and to publicize the work of the team and its individual members.

Other ways to motivate include the following: • Publishing stories about your team and their successes in your organization’s newsletter and advertising; • Making reference in a company speech to conversations or personal exchanges with one or more of your team members; • Writing unsolicited letters of appreciation to the boss concerning any special achievement, effort, or contribution of individual team members; • Getting the word out to everyone every time your team reaches a milestone, making the responsible individuals visible to others. (From Leadership Challenge: How to Get Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations, by James M.

Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner [San Francisco: Jossey-Bass], as excerpted in the January 2000 issue of Leadership Strategies. ) Reaching Your Goal I the first woman to climb Mt. Everest. Subsequently she went on to lead an expedition to K2, the world’s second-highest mountain and the most difficult to climb. Here are her tips on achieving goals: 1) Have a clear personal vision. Personal vision directs, motivates, and gives us the strength to persevere. 2) Dream big. Lofty goals are the foundation of great accomplishments. 3) Be a team player. The moment we think beyond ourselves to the team as a whole, our chance of success increases. ) Lighten up! When a situation gets intense, laughter or quiet humor releases tension. When we can laugh at ourselves, we relax and become more creative and effective. 5) Drink tea with others. Sometimes we are so caught up in the busy-ness of business that we don’t take the time to build relationships. Professional relationships are built by sitting down and listening. 6) Anticipate change. Ignorance is not bliss. Not on a mountain, and not in business. What we don’t know will hurt us. Things are changing so quickly all around us that we must stay alert, examine how we do things, and constantly educate ourselves. ) Stay focused. There are distractions everywhere in our lives. Focus on that which you can control and which will help propel you toward your goal. 8) Think beyond the top. The top is the most vulnerable place to be because it is so tempting to rest there. But we cannot survive on the tops of our mountains. We must turn n 1998 Stacy Allison became around, come back down, and set new goals for ourselves. (Excerpted from “Top of the World,” by Heather Baldwin, which appeared in the January/February 2000 issue of Selling Power, January/February 2000. Those desiring more information can visit Stacy Allison at [www. beyondthelimits. om]. ) Brian J. Lewis, P. E. , F. ASCE T Letters to God C ments expressed in the letters to God written by these 15 children? • Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t You just keep the ones You have? –Jane • Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. –Larry • Dear God, In school they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation? –Jane • Dear God, Are You really invisible or is it just a trick? –Lucy • Dear God, Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house? Anita • Dear God, Who draws the lines around the countries? –Nan • Dear God, What does it mean You are a jealous God? I thought You had everything. –Jane • Dear God, You don’t have to worry about me. I always look both ways. –Dean • Dear God, I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions. –Ruth • Dear God, Of all the people who work for You I like Noah and David the best. –Rob • Dear God, My brother told me about being born but it doesn’t sound right. They’re just kidding, aren’t they? –Marsha an you improve on the senti- Brian J. Lewis, P. E. , F. ASCE 12 / JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT IN ENGINEERING / MAY/JUNE 2000

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