15. Team Motivation
Good flow always begins with force, impetus, voltage. How much power is pushing the flow through a system? When it comes to teams, this force is called motivation. A team as a unit has a goal in mind, reliable revenue generation. This goal serves as objective guidance for the team.
Often when we think of a team being motivated toward an end we think of leadership. Some of us were taught in accord with an old-school paradigm. One that asserts that a good leader can drive a team as if they were horses pulling a wagon. In the context of leading teams toward achieving complex goals, I have not found this old school paradigm of leadership to hold water.
When it comes to motivating a team to accomplish something complex together, I find that it is much more effective and powerful to help the team reach a consensus on their vision of a future state. In my view, in a well-run team, motivation comes from within. Team motivation is a group consensus to perform well and to move in a certain direction. A good leader may help clarify the vision of the destination that all have agreed on, but in my experience, a leader does not compel movement or insert motivation. In a good team, the motivation is already latent, merely needing to be awakened.
In my experience, having a team motivated to build a web system that delivers reliable revenue is not enough to get the job done. The goal lacks sufficient force and compulsion. A goal that motivates a team must include revenue, profitable revenue, but that is actually a side effect of something much more sustainably motivating.
The way a team remains sustainably motivated over time is to have the goal of helping the customer, serving the customer as the priority. Someone is in pain. The team has the medicine. The team has the motivation to remove that person's pain. Such motivation, such pressure, can be well sustained over time.