“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

Zig Ziglar

Self-motivation is our internal drive to achieve, produce, develop, and keep moving forward. It causes us to:

  • Attack projects and tasks with energy
  • Get passionate about work activities
  • Go above and beyond what’s expected

Noted Industrial/Organizational Psychologist Jack H. McQuaig, founder of the McQuaig Institute of Executive Development, was famous for asking the question “What are the factors that differentiate high performers?” His study of high performance individuals and teams led him to the discovery of six characteristics that are the foundation of outstanding performance. Those six characteristics are:

  • Attitudes & Beliefs
  • Self-Motivation 
  • Stability & Persistence 
  • Maturity & Judgment 
  • Aptitudes/Capacity To Learn 
  • Temperament/Behaviour Patterns

Take a look around you. At some point over the course of the day you are going to have to influence someone in order to accomplish whatever it is that you would like to do. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines influence as:
  • the power to change or affect someone or something : the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen
  • the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command
  • the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways

Sadly, the ability to influence is a skill set that is lacking in most organizations. The good news is that it is a skill set that can be learned and once acquired it will set you apart from a large percentage of the workforce. It’s been referred to as more art than science but I believe that a strong case can also be made for paying attention to the science. There is no question that in this, the age of the interconnected, interdependent and increasingly global workforce your ability to influence matters more and more.