Mental Toughness for Success

Few of us wake up in the morning with the intention of being a hero. Instead, we hope to get by without any major stumbling blocks and aim to do what is expected of us. It’s only when confronted with obstacles that threaten to derail our routines and plans that we don the armor and go into battle. As they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Here’s something to think about: What if we’re missing opportunities to get what we want – and help others get what they want – by not seeing the obstacles early enough? Successful people don’t limit their worldview. They aren’t imprisoned in their mind by circumstances. They see a universe of possibilities. They don’t want to simply “get by”, but rather they use mental toughness to ask for more, no matter the barriers. What Is Mental Toughness? Some people think that mental toughness is the ability to plow through circumstances without being affected by emotions or feelings. When it comes to success, however, high performers know that the key is to identify, control, and manage emotions, both their own and others’. “Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind ‘ you could call it “character in action”. – Vince Lombardi Mental toughness means perceiving, understanding, using, and managing feelings. When you are aware and curious about emotions, you are sensitive to others’ needs. This puts you in a stronger position to...

Motivate without Overmanaging

Many business leaders have lost sight of what motivates people at work. In fact, some companies haven’t updated their incentive practices in years, which means they’re probably struggling to create and – sustain high – performing teams. Companies continue to ignore the obvious: Offering incentives and rewards is less effective than tapping into truly meaningful intrinsic motivation. Leaders operate on old assumptions about motivation despite a wealth of well-documented scientific evidence. The old “carrot-and-stick” mentality actually inhibits employees from seeking creative solutions, partly because they focus on attaining rewards instead of solving problems. Review the most notorious business failures, and you’ll find that company leaders focused on rewarding short-term results at the expense of sustaining success. Effective motivation requires you to offer opportunities that satisfy three basic human needs: 1. Autonomy 2. Relatedness 3. Competence This approach is far from new. Social scientists have grasped what motivates people for more than 60 years. But managers continue to use the carrot/stick model with incentive programs. Regardless of gender, race, culture or generation, the reality is clear: Are you satisfying your people’s psychological needs? I’m reading Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work – and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging by consultant Susan Fowler. The book serves as a good reminder that managers must periodically review their motivational techniques to recapture their leadership mojo. The Motivational Trifecta 1. Autonomy “Autonomy is our human need to perceive we have choices. It is our need to feel that what we are doing is of our own volition. It is our perception that we are the source of our actions.” ~...