Wake Up and Get Real: Secrets of Leadership Motivation

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Wake up and Get Real

Episode Summary

Do you feel like you are in your own way?

Do you wonder why you can’t get things done?

Do you wonder why you make poor decisions?

Do you wonder why relationships do not provide you with the value and enrichment you feel you deserve?

Today we help you begin down the road to understanding how to become a better leader through self-mastery.

Listen to this episode of The Valtimax Podcast and you will discover how your thought process affects your motivation and your income.

Transcript

Wake Up and Get Real: Secrets of Leadership Motivation

Hi there, workplace warriors. Once again, this is Dave Lorenzo. I’m the owner and founder of Valtimax Consulting. Today we’re talking about leadership and self-mastery. That’s right, we’re going to help you become a better business owner, become a better supervisor, become a better business leader through self-mastery.

Now what does that mean? What does that actually mean? We’re talking about how you can get out of your own way and become a better business owner, become a better decision maker, become someone who people want to follow. The way to do that is to master your own motivation. All too often I hear people tell me, “I have so much to do and I just can’t find the time to get everything else done,” or, “I have not had time to work on my goals because I’ve been busy handling the day to day aspects of my business.”

This, my friends, is a crisis of motivation. It’s an absolute crisis of motivation within yourself. It’s a crisis of self-mastery. Today we’re going to help you understand how you can master your own motivation and then grow and develop your business so that it helps you make a great living and live a great life. First and foremost, before we get into that, we have to make what’s dubbed the [bast 00:01:51] announcement.

That’s right, the announcement that we make each and every single week to remind you to subscribe to the Valtimax Podcast on iTunes. Simply download the podcast app from iTunes and search for Valtimax, V-A-L-T-I-M-A-X, and click okay when it asks you if you’d like to subscribe. Now if you’re using any other type of phone you can subscribe to the Valtimax Podcast by simply going to our website. That’s valtimax.com, V-A-L-T-I-M-A-X.com, and subscribe by entering your name and email address. We’ll email you a link to the podcast player on our website, and you can get this fantastic information each and every single Monday morning.

What are we talk about today? Leadership and self-mastery. That means that we’re going to help you become a good leader by mastering your own motivation and your own behavior. If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t get things done or wondered why you make such poor decisions, or wondered why relationships that you have don’t provide you with the value and enrichment you feel you deserve, this is going to be the podcast episode that’s going to help you get to the bottom of it all. Today we’re going to help you begin down the road of understanding how you can become a better leader through self-mastery.

Now what I use when I demonstrate how motivation and leadership go hand in hand is I use what’s called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In 1943 a psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow published a research paper that was titled The Theory of Human Motivation, Theory of Human Motivation. This has been the seminal work on motivation and the hierarchy of needs for the psychology community over the years, and I find it quite applicable to helping explain how each of us make decisions in our lives related to our own personal motivation.

I think once I illustrate that to you here do you at the most basic level, you’ll have an understanding for the decisions that you make that help you as a leader determine what makes the most sense in order to get your people going and what makes the most sense in order to get yourself going. Regardless of whether you’re a solo practitioner, you’re the only person in a law firm or the only person in a professional services firm, or if you manage hundreds and hundreds of people like I used to, this motivational theory is fantastic for understanding how you can help yourself make better decisions and help yourself get motivated, and help your people make better decisions and help your people motivate themselves.

Let’s talk about the different levels of human need. Now I’m going to take those levels, the levels of need, the hierarchy of needs that Abraham Maslow originally developed back in 1943, and I’m going to teach you how to apply them to work and to your own decision making. I want you to envision right now, especially if you’re driving, I want you to envision a pyramid, a triangle. If you’re not driving, I want you to get out a piece of paper and I want you to draw a triangle, a pyramid, on a piece of paper. At the base of that pyramid is the need for survival. That’s the very need to breathe the air that you have in front of you, the need for you to get up in the morning and simply survive throughout the course of the day.

The need above that, the step in the hierarchy above that, so you have survival written at the base of your pyramid, the step in the hierarchy above that is the need for security and safety, the need for you to feel safe and secure. You have to feel as though you’re not being threatened from a safety and security standpoint.

The need above that is the need to belong. That’s the need to feel like you’re part of something, you’re part of something that’s bigger than yourself. This could be part of a group. It could be part of an occupation. We’ll get into the details regarding the need of belonging, but just know that that’s the next level up on this hierarchy.

The level after that is the need for esteem. That’s the need for having the respect of others. You have to feel good about yourself through having the respect of others. Finally, at the pinnacle, at the apex of the pyramid, at the top of the triangle is the need for self-actualization. This is the need to fulfill your potential. The need to fulfill your potential, self-actualization, is at the top.

Now let’s talk about each of these needs. I’ll give you some examples so that you can understand how they all make sense when it comes to your own personal motivation. Let’s talk about the need for survival, the bottom of the period. We begin with the most basic of all needs, and that’s the need for survival. You want to keep breathing. It’s instinctive. If this need is threatened, if your need to survive is threatened, you’ll do whatever you have to do in order to make that threat go away. If you’re pushed, if somebody has a gun pointed at your face and you have a gun in your hand, and somebody says, “I’m going to shoot you,” you will shoot them first because your need for survival is so strong and it’s instinctive.

More likely, in each of us we have an everyday need for survival. The means that we must have access to food and shelter. You must have a home and you must have something to eat each and every single day. Once you have that need for survival covered, the need for safety and security comes into play. Let’s talk for a moment about that need for survival. It’s not just the need for food and shelter today, because there’s no tigers chasing into our homes each and every single day. It’s the need for us to understand that we will have food and shelter for the long term. We can provide food and shelter for ourselves. That’s what the need for survival is really all about.

The next step up in the hierarchy, as I said, is the need for safety and security. In the modern era, as I said, you don’t have to be worried about wild animals chasing you, but we do need to make certain that we live in a safe area. This means an area free of crime and disease. We must also have access to nutritious food, we must live in a home that keeps us secure while we sleep, and we must have access to quality healthcare. This is so important. We must feel as though we have access to quality healthcare so that when we get sick our need for survival is not threatened. The need for survival and the need for safety and security really go hand in hand.

Now the need for belonging is the next need up on the hierarchy. Once we’re convinced that we have the need for survival well in hand and we feel safe and secure, we’ll seek to fulfill our need to belong. Each of us wants to be part of a group. We want to be part of something that helps us to find ourselves. Most likely we belong to multiple groups. These groups can include religious affiliation, or even lack of religious affiliation can put you in part of a group. It can include social affiliation likes clubs. It can include occupational affiliation, college professors, doctors, lawyers. It can include many, many more less structured groups. Let’s say parents of small children, stay-at-home moms, retired law enforcement professionals. Even though these are not structured groups, they’re still groups to which many of us belong.

The element of belonging is essential to proper mental health. One of the things that we see most often is that when people have breakdowns and they do things that are crazy or seem crazy, or absolutely extreme, it’s because they didn’t have a feeling or a sense of belonging to society as a whole, and a sense of belonging to groups in particular.

The next element on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the next element in the hierarchy of needs for our self-mastery is the need for esteem. This is really the respect for others. After you feel as though you belong to a group or multiple groups, you must then have a place in each of those groups. You must have a place in society. You have to have a place that you can call your own, that differentiates you. You must feel respected. The way most people achieve this level of respect is through that differentiation. You rise up through the ranks of a company and take on a leadership role. Maybe it’s a leadership role in a department or a leadership role in a division of a company. That fulfills your need for esteem.

Now some people continuously have that need for esteem and they continuously have to fill it. The way they fill that is by rising up through the ranks of the company, eventually to become a leader in a company. Some folks realize that the shortest path to fulfilling that need for esteem, the shortest way to make sure that you fill that need is to start a company of your own, because then you are the leader right from the outset. The need for esteem is powerful, absolutely powerful.

Once you fill that need for esteem, you can move on to self-actualization. Ways that folks fill that need for esteem vary from rising up through the ranks of a company to becoming certified in a particular profession, or writing a book, publishing a paper, posting articles on a website to demonstrate your expert status. All of these things and hundreds and hundreds of other actions fulfill your need to be respected, your need for esteem.

Many people will also use their financial wherewithal to fulfill this need. They drive fancy cars. They purchase huge homes. While many people consider this a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality or a mentality of belonging, far more often than not, this is done to help people differentiate themselves once they are part of a group. Not only is he a doctor but he also has the biggest house in the neighborhood and he drives a Bentley. He’s a doctor, he’s a member of a group, he fulfills his need for belonging that way, but he also drives one of the most expensive cars you can possibly buy.

Finally, once you’ve fulfilled your need for esteem and your need for belonging, comes self-actualization. Self-actualization is the need to fulfill one’s own potential. This is often described as somebody who has a higher sense of purpose or someone who is really focused on helping others, often has the need to fulfill that self-actualization need on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, or that pyramid that you drew. Self-actualization is the point where we can truly say we’re making a great living and living a great life, because we’ve actually fulfilled all the other needs that lead up to this.

Why is this hierarchy of needs and understanding where you fall into the hierarchy and how you meet each of those needs on the hierarchy, why is all that important? It’s important for two reasons. Number one, it helps you master your own motivation. That’s what we’re focused on today, mastering your own motivation. Number two, it helps you motivate others. It helps you motivate people who work for you. It helps you motivate people who invest in your company or become your clients, and it helps you motivate people who are potentially shareholders or people who you want to invest in your company or you want to become your clients. We’re going to focus the remainder of our time together today on understanding how this hierarchy motivates you to do things and to make better decisions.

Let’s get started with the need for survival. If you check your bank account balance every day before you buy lunch, or you check your bank account balance every day before you go to the supermarket, you may have a survival need issue. The reason that it’s so important to understand if you have a survival need issue is because if you feel like your need for survival is threatened or your need for safety and security even is threatened, then you will not be able to take on better clients, you’ll not be able to quote the fee that you need, you’ll not be able to really make the best possible decisions for you and your law firm.

Your need for survival is critically important. If you feel as though you need to have ten or 20 or 100 or a million dollars in the bank in order to feel good about your financial survival, you will make better decisions. Let’s think about that for a moment. Let’s say you’re a lawyer in private practice and someone comes to you, and they tell you that they have this issue that they need resolved, and you normally would charge $5,000 to resolve that issue. The person says, “I only have 2,500. Will you help me for $2,500?” If you have the need for survival, if your need for survival has already been threatened and you know you only have $1,000 in your bank account for your law firm right now, you’ll take on that client for $2,500. You won’t feel good about it because you know it’s a $5,000 project.

The alternative is to turn that client away and have no money and potentially not survive throughout the week. You take on that client for the $2,500 that’s at hand and you feel bad about it. You probably don’t do your best work and you probably don’t do what you need to do in order to make sure your practice is healthy. That’s go back to the client and say, “I will reduce the value of what I’m providing for the $2,500. I can meet the needs of your budget but I can’t do everything that I outlined that would normally cost $5,000.” Understanding that your need for survival is critically important, what you should be doing is this.

You should be focused on living your life to meet the needs that you currently have, having a lifestyle that meets your current needs. Instead of financing a car and driving a brand new Mercedes, you should be driving a car that you can completely pay off and that will help you make better business decisions. Your lifestyle first and foremost must be one that is manageable given the circumstances that you’re in.

Now I know this is not a popular sentiment and it’s not going to make me popular with people who are out there selling marketing advice or selling business strategy advice to lawyers for a living, or to any business owner for that matter. Because people will always tell you act as if … move up to the level that you desire to be at, finance everything and eventually your income will match your lifestyle because you’ll be motivated to achieve to pay off that debt, and you’ll be motivated to achieve to live that lifestyle.

Folks, nothing could be farther from the truth. You need to first focus on survival. Move into the smaller home. Use the car that’s completely paid off. Buy the insurance that you can afford for the car that’s completely paid off and live a lifestyle that allows you to pay off your bills easily every single month. Eliminating debt when you’re first starting out and eliminating debt when you get into financial trouble is the way to go so that you can make great decisions on the clients that you’ll accept, so that you can make great decisions on the way you build your business.

Now as time goes on and your need for survival is met, and your need for safety and secure is met, then you can move onto the need for the belonging or the need for self-esteem. Let’s talk about that for a moment. Sometimes when we want to fulfill our need to belong, we’ll join groups or associations. This is very good and it’s critically important that you join groups and associations that do two things. Number one, they reinforce your beliefs that you are a good person, they reinforce your beliefs that you are a good person. Number two, they enable you to move up on the hierarchy without having to compromise the needs below. That’s critically important. You must belong to groups that enable you to move up on the hierarchy without compromising your needs below.

Let’s think about that for a moment. You have a difficult time paying your bills each and every single month and you decide you’re going to join a country club. The reason that you decide you’re going to join the country club is because there you’re going to network with people who are going to do business with you and it’s going to help you get ahead in your business. This is the wrong reason to make that decision to join a country club. Here’s why.

Your decision to join that country club is based on something that you don’t already have in place. If all of your bills were being completely paid off every month and you had a surplus that was in excess of the monthly dues and fees associated with that country club, then it would be completely acceptable for you to join that club. However, you’re joining the club hoping, hoping that you are going to be able to fulfill your obligation, your financial obligation to the club through people you are going to meet. That could take three months. It could take six months. It could take the rest of your life. You may never be able to fulfill that obligation and you may have to go into debt in order to belong to that group.

That’s not going to make you feel good. It’s going to threaten your safety and security. It’s going to threaten your very survival eventually. You’re fulfilling a need by threatening the needs below it on the hierarchy. The key to motivation is to make sure you have completely fulfilled the needs on the hierarchy before moving to the next level.

The need for self-esteem, let’s take that one now, the need for esteem. You cannot move to satisfy your need for esteem until y fulfill your need for belonging. Let’s say you’re a member of a church and you feel like you’re embraced by that community, and the community has reached out to you and they’ve said, “You’re a natural leader. We want you in this role.” That is perfectly acceptable. It fills your need for esteem and you’re moving forward under the guideline of my need for belonging has already been fulfilled and now I’m moving on to fill the need for esteem. That’s great. That’s fantastic. I’m glad you’re doing it.

You get into trouble when you join a group and you feel like you don’t quite fit in, yet you decide to advance to a leadership position in the hopes that it will help you fit in even further. You will be undermined as a part of that group because you will not have the confidence you need to be a leader in that group, so your needs on the hierarchy at the level below have not been met.

Our goal here is self-actualization. Our goal is to get you to the point where you feel like you’re making a great living and living a great life. The key element, the one thing I want to stress to you is that you must meet the needs below the level of self-actualization on the hierarchy before you can meet that need for self-actualization. I want to stress that again. First and foremost, you meet your need for survival. Second, you meet your need for security and your sense of safety. Third, you meet your need for belonging. Then fourth, you meet your need for esteem.

Once you’ve done all of these things, only at that point can you focus on self-actualization. What I help my clients do is I help my clients realize where they are on this hierarchy of needs and I help them go back and shore up the levels below so that they can advance and become a leader and become self-actualized. Folks, you will make a great living and live a great life once you realize what’s motivating you. If you’re getting up and going to work every day just to make enough money to pay your bills, we have to look at that element of your life and work on it so that your bills are paid effortlessly each and every month.

If you’re working every day just to stay a member of a certain group, and I use lawyers because this is so common, each and every day people go out and they tell me that they’re a lawyer because they couldn’t get into medical school or they tell me they’re a lawyer because they didn’t know what to do with their life. It’s ten years later, it’s 15 years later, it’s 20 years later and they’re still a lawyer because they couldn’t figure out what they wanted to do with their life 20 years prior. That’s a problem. That need for belonging is getting in your way of making the living and living the life you deserve.

Take a personal inventory right now. This is your call to action. Take a personal inventory right now and determine where you are on this hierarchy of needs, and then reach out to me and give me a call, and see if I can help you get to the point where you can make a great living and live a great life. That will do it for this week’s episode of the Valtimax Podcast. My name is Dave Lorenzo and I’d like to your feedback and comments on this week’s episode. You can call me at 888-692-5531 or email me at [email protected] Here’s hoping you make a great living and live a great life. Bye bye.

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