As it appeared in the Daily Nation on June21st 2016
“What motivates you”? Or even better “What inspires you”? Or “What keeps you going?” This is one of my best questions when conducting interviews. I would get very startled to hear someone say, “I get motivated by a motivational speaker”. I indeed get surprised when organizations call asking me to be a “motivational” speaker. Off course, I say yes to the second part and put a small disclaimer on the first part. This is because I believe in self-motivation that comes from the inside out. It is true that self-motivation may be triggered by words that touch on the inner self but the onus remains on the self. That is why I like “guest speaker” better with the intention that a few words such as “it is all up to you” may touch on the inner self and inspire the listener to take action.
If you work in the frontline, staying motivated or in high spirits is not a choice it is a requirement if you want to have a fulfilling career. Working in the frontline is a not easy. Each day is different, there are numerous interactions with all kinds of customers some nice some not too nice. Getting the most out of every day goes beyond psyching oneself up every morning or during a training to realizing the deeper call to serve humanity and seeing our roles as part of something bigger. Seeing our customers as our financiers through the salary we get is also a simple truth that should inspire us to serve them with excellence.
As I have interacted with hundreds of staff in the frontline. I have observed that some are passionate about their jobs and even about life, they are “A” performers. I have also noticed that others are often in very high spirits after two days of training ready to transform their work life. A few others remain adamant; they are stuck in their old ways, they see no meaning in their jobs and are not willing to change for the better.
At the core of all this, is how we feel about ourselves, our jobs, our managers our organizations and about life in general. I come from the school of thought that with passion most things in life are almost effortless. A passion in what we choose to do drives us and keeps us going. We crave to get better at it. If we are in the frontline, we commit to serving our customers wholeheartedly. We may have heard some old adages on letting our days or our years count or that it is not the years in our life that count but the life and smiles in our years credited to different people. These are reminders that every new day, week, month and year presents a new opportunity that should inspire us to get better and to keep moving.
It is true to say that not everything inspires us, but having the drive in what we choose to do is critical. It requires that we are clear on our goals, are focused on achieving them and remain positive. The need for inspiration goes beyond the frontline, to any job and to life in general. I like Walt Disney’s Quote that says, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Will you act today? Keep going!
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer and can be reached on email@example.com/old or via twitter @kiruthulucy