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Have you ever noticed that successful leaders have the amazing ability to motivate people to action regardless of age, status, personality or even skillset? Successful leaders seem to know what to say and do to motivate people. In studying top motivational leaders varying from Zig Ziglar to Tony Robbins and all the way from Oprah Winfrey to Mother Teresa, I have observed three secrets they and many other successful leaders have in common when it comes to motivating people to action. Let’s explore these three secrets revealed and how you can immediately apply them to your life starting right now.


What’s in it for Me? (W.I.I.F.M)

The first secret revealed that successful leaders apply when motivating people to action is tuning in to the frequency that captures the attention of the person they are speaking with. Actually, you are listening to that station in your head right now and just about every minute of the day. You know, the one with the call letters W.I.I.F.M. which stands for What’s In It For Me, Me, Me, Me and playing what you want to hear 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Now, you might be the nicest selfsacrificing person in the world but I promise you, when you picked out this eBook you weren’t thinking, “Oh, I think I will buy this to make Dawn feel good”. No! You bought this eBook thinking to yourself something along the lines of, “I want to get something out of this” or “I want to be a better leader”.

So here is the point, if you want to communicate successfully and motivate different people in all different situations, then the first thing to do is tune into their W.I.I.F.M. – not yours, theirs. Constantly ask yourself what’s in it for them? Why would they want to listen to you? What motivates them? What is significant to them? The moment you take the focus off of you and place it onto the other person, you begin to understand what’s important to them. Once you begin to understand what’s important to them they will begin to see that you care about them. Once people see and believe that you truly care about them, then this is the first step in answering the question that successful leaders have known through the ages and that is how do I motivate people to action? The answer is tuning in to their W.I.I.F.M. factor. As you discover what’s in it for them, you begin to establish a trust and a bond that when built upon, motivates people to the ends of the earth. By tuning in to their W.I.I.F.M. you will understand what’s important to them so you can help them move towards your goals by helping them reach their goals.

I tie this concept into something I learned from Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit #2 states: begin with the end in mind. Start just about every seminar, training and coaching session with this concept because the clearer your target the better chance you will have of hitting it. The more you know about what motivates the people you are speaking with, the more you can weave what’s important to them into your target. One of my favorite quotes is from Earl Woods, the father of golf-pro, Tiger Woods, in which he says, “Each shot you hit your entire life must have a target or it’s a wasted effort. Never hit a shot without a target.” So, as you think about what your leadership target is or what end in mind you have when it comes to successfully motivating people to action, let’s
tune in to your WIIFM factor, what’s in it for you.

What are some areas you’d like to personally target? What is your end in mind? What does successfully motivating people to action look like in your world? Does it mean getting along with people who are normally difficult to get along with or does it mean working as a team with people who are different and producing excellent results. Perhaps it means having a higher quality of life because now it could be easy and almost effortless to motivate people who were once challenging for you. As you think about what’s in it for you, consider the areas you’d like to target as we move to the second leadership secret revealed in motivating people to action and that is putting your personality to work for you.

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