You may find that motivating your team with proper perspective can be a frustrating task. You set expectations and define goals. You encourage the team toward higher levels of performance, hold your breath, and hope for the best. If the situation is right, you may even jump in and lend a hand to show moral support and a positive example. It is rewarding when it works, but frustrating when they fall short. There are many reasons attributed to poor performance. One reason we often forget is lack of perspective.
Perspective broadens personal horizons and challenges us to try something new, humble ourselves, demonstrate a bit of graciousness, and perhaps take a risk. Without perspective, we tend to become egocentric and forget those around us.
I propose two main reasons for an improper perspective.
First, our limited understanding and experience of our broader world
During a recent post-game interview, Coach George Karl, of the NBA Denver Nuggets, let the world know what he felt about his team. He described them as arrogant and immature after a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. About two weeks later, Karl responded to the team’s loss to the lowly Washington Wizards. They slapped us and embarrassed us. The Wizards were the NBA’s worst team at the time of this loss. Karl was not happy with the team’s performance.
According to ESPN, the Denver Nuggets are the league’s third youngest team averaging less than 25 years of age with the average payroll exceeding $4.3 million. Karl’s comments make sense to me. I too was immature before age 25 and I am quite sure arrogance would have described my behavior if my annual salary exceeded $4 million.
Second, selfish pursuits leading to an inflated view ourselves
We learn to think of ourselves as winners, capable of almost anything we can picture. A positive perspective is very helpful, but it may turn detrimental if that leaves you feeling a sense of false superiority. Feelings of superiority skew perspective and ultimately limit performance. At some point, everyone finishes second in a two-person race. If self-identity is based upon winning, this leads to a letdown.
Feelings of superiority are common. How many people would admit that they are in the bottom half of performers in their organization unless they were truly unhappy with their situation? Yet, without a sense of humility, our perspective becomes skewed. We see the world through the limited vision of our own eyes and begin to interpret our surroundings in a manner that best fits our perception.
If you want to increase personal performance, you must expand your perspective as well as your team. You need to break out of the rut of your own ideas and make inquiry into the broader world and develop a proper self-image.
As a manager or leader, one fundamental responsibility is to keep everyone’s focus on the right perspective. There are many ways to do this, but they must start with a view of the world that goes beyond our four walls and having a proper view of oneself.
How does your perspective impact your motivation?