The High Cost of Low Motivation

Last week I asked one of my audiences this question: “How many of you would like to be at your ideal weight and ideal level of physical fitness?”  All of them raised their hands.

Then I asked them, “How many of know what it would take to be at your ideal weight and at your ideal level of physical fitness?”  Again, they all raised their hands.

Finally, I asked them, “How many of you are at your ideal weight and at your ideal level of physical fitness?”  No one raised their hands.

Very interesting.  None of them lacked the knowledge they needed to achieve their goals.  They lacked the motivation to do what they needed to do.

In last week’s Tuesday Tip, we talked about the fact that motivation alone won’t help you take effective action. You may remember what I tell my clients – Motivation isn’t enough. If you motivate an idiot, all you have is a motivated idiot. Education is the starting point for effective action … both the education you get from others AND the education you get for yourself.

Just like motivation, however, education alone isn’t enough for you to be able to take effective action in your life and work. That’s why I tell the attendees in my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary program, “Education without motivation serves no useful purpose.” And so they learn how to master the secrets of motivating themselves and others.

(F.Y.I.  My next Journey program will be held in Minneapolis on May 4-5, 2017, and I want to make sure you have every opportunity to register at the lowest possible price. Sign up by April 14th and save $500 with our Early-Bird Discount. Just click here to register now.)

For the moment, let me tell why your motivation level is so crucial to every part of your life and success.

1.  A Lack of Motivation Costs You Financially.

More than a decade ago, the Gallup organization analyzed its massive data base and determined that more than half (55%) of today’s employees have no enthusiasm for their work.  Gallup labeled these people as “not engaged.” In other words, they didn’t have much loyalty to their organization or much desire to improve their job performance.

To make matters worse, Gallup discovered one in five employees (19%) were so negative about their jobs that they actually poisoned the workplace. In fact, those companies would be better off if those employees called in sick.

You may think, “Big deal. So what if some of our employees (or my coworkers) are not fully motivated?”

Let me tell you, it’s a REALLY BIG deal.  Their lack of motivation is costing your company big bucks.

How big?  Gallup said if companies could motivate their people to get just 3.7% more work out of each employee … or the equivalent of 18 more minutes of work each 8-hour shift … the gross domestic product of the United States would swell by half a trillion dollars.  That increase alone would dwarf the GDP of most of the countries in the world.

Your coworkers’ lack of motivation is also chipping away at your job security.  Any company that is producing less than it could possibly produce has to sell its products and services at a higher price.   And in today’s highly competitive global market, those companies tend to go out of business.

2.  A Lack of Motivation Makes You Less Competitive.

Our schools know this.  Every day, schools and educators are faced with the task of educating students who don’t care and who aren’t motivated.

And is that a problem?  You bet it is.

According to some studies, our students rank 12th around the world in science and 24th in math. In fact, there are several non-English speaking countries where their students score higher on English tests than American kids. That’s frightening.

One father said to his son, “I worry about you being at the bottom of the class.” His son replied, “Don’t worry Dad. They teach you the same stuff at both ends.”

Seriously, think about it.  When those unmotivated students compete for a job in the world market against peers in their generation, guess who’s going to win?  The ones with a great education and lots of motivation.

That’s why I get on my soapbox and tell educators all across the country that, “Education without motivation serves no useful purpose.”  Students have to be motivated to learn and they have to be motivated to use what they learn.

And so do you. 

So let me ask you, what are you doing to keep your motivation level high?  I hope to God that you’re doing more than just winging it, waiting to see how you feel.

The good news is you can do some things that will feed your motivation and ensure your success, on and off the job.  And if you don’t know what those things are, go back and re-read my books.  I won’t make a sales pitch for them here because most of you already have copies of my books. I’m just telling you it may be time to go back and re-read them.

3.  Higher Levels of Success Are Always Fueled by Higher Levels of Motivation.

Kevin Roberts, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, says, “In the 21st century, organizations have to achieve peak performance through inspiration by unleashing the power of their people–not by teaching them, not by managing them, but by inspiring them.”

The Mercedes Benz plant in South Africa learned about the power of motivation some years ago.  It took them two weeks to make a car that had seventy defects. But the Mercedes Benz plant in Europe could turn out a car in one week that had only fourteen defects.

Then, a fortunate accident occurred. After a year of suffering with productivity and quality problems, it just so happened that a car was being made for liberator and president Nelson Mandela. No particular mention or fanfare was made. The vehicle simply went through the assembly line with a tag on it that read, “For Mr. Mandela.”

To the amazement of the managers, the car was completed in one week and had only ten minor problems. A light bulb went off in the managers’ heads. Their workers were capable. They were educated enough to do the job and do it well. They had simply not been motivated enough to give their very best. It was at that point that the Mercedes leadership learned that they had to engage their workers’ hearts, not just their hands.

Every one of us needs to master the art and science of motivation.  It’s one investment that will pay off your entire lifetime.

That’s what Patrick Skowron learned when he attended my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience. He wrote me a note saying, “I really did not know what to expect.  After attending and seeing, hearing and experiencing this event, I know that it is Extraordinary!”

Patrick continued, “Over the years I’ve read many self-improvement books and attended many motivational seminars by some well-known and not-so-well-known speakers.  But your Journey pulled it all together and took me to a much higher level of understanding.  This has enabled me to really go after my goals … in a successful, well planned way … using a methodology I never knew existed.

I am amazed and impressed with all the tools I acquired at the Journey and somewhat saddened by all the details left out of all the other programs I’ve attended. But those little details on how the mind works and how you can guarantee your goal achievement have made a significant difference in my life and work.

I even shared what I learned with my adult sons and they were wide-eyed when I showed them what I learned in class.  Now they know, just like I do, that you can achieve your goals if you have the right motivational tools to use.

I am so glad and thankful I met Dr. Zimmerman.  Everyone in the Journey left with a higher level of understanding … a level which few people ever experience in their lifetime!  Even though times are difficult, it makes more sense to attend the Journey now than ever before.  In addition to being a lot of fun, mentally stimulating and very real, this program will change your LIFE!

Wow! I was pretty humbled by Patrick’s comments. But you get the point. When you master the art and science of motivation, your results are guaranteed to be incredible.