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9 Drivers that Fuel Performance


“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham

Take a moment and think about the following question, Think of what keeps you showing up to work and being ALL IN?

If you are fortunate, you may be one of the few people that has the opportunity to do what you love every day. But if you are like most people, finding the fuel to be all in can be difficult.

Anyone that is great at anything must either have a passion for what they do, or they must discover a passion that fuels what they do. In order for you to tap into your greatness, you must first understand what motivates you to perform.

The bible reminds us that,

“The appetite of laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on.”

Proverbs 16:26

Motivation Defined: Any factor that drives performance.

Staying motivated is a common struggle for people. Therefore finding any factor that can drive your performance could be the difference between success and failure.

Focusing on what’s most important to you will give you a fighting chance to press through any obstacle.

As a leader, it is also important to understand what drives those around you. Your drivers may not be their drivers. And that’s okay. What’s most important is to understand your drivers, and the drivers of those you lead.

The following list gives you an overview of things that are common drivers for people. Identify which ones are most important to you, and then use them as fuel with your daily tasks at work. 

The Primary Performance Drivers

  1. TangiblesYour packages, base and bonuses, and benefits. A necessary but insufficient driver.
  1. SecurityA good driver but not a high – level driver.
  1. Expression of TalentYou get some sort of energy when it’s expressed.
  1. ChallengeWhen I get out of my comfort zone or stretched. I like insecurity, and problem solving. Subdue – put order out of chaos. I like bringing order to things.
  1. Career DevelopmentYou see what you do as a step towards your overall career goal. It’s important to realize that some people are on a ladder. Most people will not be in a job forever. As a leader, don’t be selfish with people on a ladder. That’s a control issue.
  1. Passion – You lose time doing it. You can’t make passion. You can only discover it. Talent + passion = commitment!
  1. ConnectionsThey love the people and culture. It measures where you get your energy.
  1. Team SynergyA fundamental equation for success in organizations is synergy. They are natural leaders who love to rally people to accomplish a goal.
  1. MissionDriven by the big picture that matters.


The Value of Identifying and Executing the Right Drivers

  1. Best fit for performance. If you find what works for them it will show up in the fruit. How does the Board of Directors measure the success of the CEO. Is the mission happening, or not?
  2. Energy focus improvement for you and them. As the drivers are focused, efficiencies improve.
  3. Weeding out competency and character issues. Knowing the driver helps to assess if there is a training issue, or a character issues that needs to be addressed.


Finding the Drivers of those you lead.

  1. Get out of your own perspective. Your perspective is not everyone else’s perspective. Understand and acknowledge what is important to them.
  2. Listen to reality and feedback. Observe when your children or group is most engaged, or share something about what they enjoy. Look at the effort, engagement, and productivity of those your lead.
  3. Look at the fruit. Results don’t lie!  A great indicator is when they own the responsibility of being successful, and they appear to not only accomplish the goal, but also do it with a positive attitude.
  4. Can people change to better drivers? Yes, and you can help them. You can help them identify a deeper sense of purpose that allows them to understand that their effort impacts lives beyond just their own.


Questions for Growth

  1. What are your work drivers, and how did you discover them?
  1. What drives those you lead, and how are you addressing those with them?