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Paul Martin
Advocace' Media

Six motivation mistakes that stop success




Let’s agree: We all work for more than money.  That’s why we’re so disappointed when things go awry at work.  But what do we do when we as managers have people (especially business development representatives) who are content before our team reaches our goal?  Here are some mistakes I’ve seen (and made) with team members who stopped before the goal was accomplished:


Mistake #1: Believe everyone is motivated like you are.  Most managers and leaders were promoted because we put our jobs above most everything else.  That’s why it is now our job to help get the folks who were not promoted to achieve higher goals.  Obviously, we’re all motivated in different ways.


Mistake #2: Use the same tools that worked with us and expect those tools to succeed with others.  Since we’re motivated differently than most of the folks who work with us, we need to find the right tools that fit them.


Mistake #3: Get mad and give the lower performers the management cold shoulder.  This doesn’t work well at home and performs worse at work.  Sure, there is awkwardness when you have a team member with a  performance issue, but take a moment and write down what you want to happen (the objective) and then jot down a path that makes sense with the staffer.


Mistake #4: Avoid the lag in performance and hope it self-corrects.  Avoidance is the on-ramp to a highway of fear. If you avoid a constructive conversation about lagging performance, both you and your team member are likely feeling the fear.  The outcome is usually more fear, confusion and disappointment over performance.


Mistake #5: Keep your destination a secret.  I like happy surprises.  In fact, if my children guess what is inside the wrapped Christmas present, I return it!  As a leader, though, it is a lot like riding the subway: We need to be crystal clear about our long-term destination and the next stop or two for each passenger on our train.  It takes a bit of communication with each team member (especially those with disappointing performance) to let them know the next stops to stay on track to the destination you have set.  Each of these remedial steps will likely need to be about activities that are critical to the employee’s success.  For example: Business Development Representatives might need to have a minimum of 5 asks for dollars each week.  The “5 asks” are the subway’s next stops on the track to our collective goal.


Mistake #6: Believe you won’t make a motivation mistake.  I’ve made every mistake here (and others) with almost every team member I’ve touched.  The solution: ask forgiveness of the team member and move ahead.


Paul combine almost 30 years of radio management and business development experience with an entrepreneurial spirit. One of the key start-up people of KLTY-FM (twice), an important member of the growth team at CBN Radio Network and the founding General Manager of Salem Radio Representatives, Paul has built a solid reputation in the industry as an innovator and radio professional. Paul teamed with Phil Bandy to start Advocace Media LLC, a company dedicated to serve and help grow listener-supported Christian radio stations where he is President. Contact Paul at