I like Daniel Pink’s stuff a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed this short presentation he did at a Global TED gathering. I think everybody that leads someone else (business leaders, church leaders, family leaders, etc) ought to watch this.
This backs up my own experience as being a pastor. External motivators just don’t work in the long-run. I’m sure there’s a place for them in the short-run but they will eventually start to falter.
Pink specifically lists three powerful internal motivators that should be understood by every pastor/leader…
People enjoy serving where there is some self-direction. In other words, people want to be a part of the process and contribute on a higher level than just being manual labor. Collaboration will almost always birth motivation if handled well.
People like working at tasks that they can get better at over time. They want a sense of accomplishment that comes from being challenged and growing through that challenge. A person that has met every challenge on a certain ministry team probably needs to move to another team so that new tasks can be experienced and new accomplishments can be achieved. Measurable personal achievements tend to create motivation.
People want to feel like they are contributing to something greater than themselves. This is the essence of service together in a community. There’s a cry in every heart to do remarkable things while serving side-by-side with others. Deep down, we all want to participate in a “barn raising.” We want to multiple our efforts with others to see the world changed. A bold vision, properly communicated and understood, will jump start waves of motivation in any organization.
At the end of the day, if people don’t sense that they are contributing, growing, or working towards a higher goal, they just aren’t going to last or, worse yet, they’ll stay in a position solely out of a sense of duty and they’ll do a lackluster job because you can’t fake genuine enthusiasm and motivation.