Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Top 10 Tips Leaders Use to Stay Motivated

MotivationCarrotStickj0378983 I booked a keynote presentation (How to Stay Positive When Things Seem Negative) at an association meeting a while back. Here are my top ten tips to maintain personal motivation based on the research I did for that keynote. Let me know if you have any others.

1. Ask expansive questions (EQ’s). People who let negativity affect them often ask lousy questions (LQs), such as “Why does this always happen to me? Who screwed up this time? How come he’s not pulling his weight?” All these questions are legitimate AND lousy because they don’t lead to positive thoughts or actions. Expansive questions (EQs) are: “How can I make sure this doesn’t happen again? What can I learn from this? How can I ensure I pull my weight?” EQ’s focus on action we can take, instead of the blame game we can play. The more EQ’s we ask, the more we choose responsibility and better we feel.

2. Write S.M.A.R.T. goals and review them daily. We move in the direction of the dominant images we place, or let others place, in our minds. Goals keep you focused on the big picture.

3. Use positive affirmations and self-talk. Since we all talk to ourselves anyway, write a few of your favorite qualities on 3x5 index cards. Repeat them to yourself throughout the day, especially when sinking thinking elbows its way to center stage.

4. Listen to positive audio-programs in the car. Are you spending or investing your time in car?

5. Read positive books before you go to bed. Have something other than the nightly news dancing around your brain all night.

6. Spend more time with positive people. Spend less with those who are “optimistically challenged” or "negaholics."

7. Use the “secret complimentor” to increase your team’s or family’s look-for-good culture. People who look for good often find it.

8. Start your meetings or dinners with an uplifting story (e.g., Chicken Soup for the Soul) or humor.

9. Go for a short walk (i.e., 20 min.) walk with a loved one 3 times/week. Discuss only positive things.

10. Make a list of what you are thankful for once a month. Focus on what you have.

Which of these work for you now? Which one's should you try? Let me know how it goes.

Keep expanding,



Sandra vanRhee said...

I have used almost every one of your Top 10 Tips and agree 100% with the effectiveness of these points. My husband even made affirmations that can be put on your dashboard and seen reflected in the windshield (I put these in the middle of the dash). When stopped, I read my affirmation and think positively.

Dave Jensen, Leadership Expert said...

Hi Sandra,

Thanks for the note. If you have used them all, you must be one the most optimistic folks around. Good for you.

I really like your idea of reading the affirmations when stopped in the car. Of course, here in LA we could read War and Peace while stopped!


Debashish Brahma said...

Dear Dave ,
A very Good post once agian, what is index card 3X2 can you please explain me.
I do agree about the positive self talking , you increse your self esteem , there may be many people surrounding you are there to nagate your +ve ideas , but a leader should make him belief that it's possible.
"If you think you can do it, you are right, if you think you can't,you are right" Henry Ford.
With Warm Regards,

Dave Jensen, Leadership Expert said...

Hi Dabashish,

A 3x5 index card is a blank piece of paper (thick) that is 3 inches by 5 inches in size. I write affirmations on them almost every day. And then read them throughout the day to keep me motivated.

Thanks for your comment,

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