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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 27-Jun-08


Friday 27-June-08

Blind motivation

Here's an interesting movie clip from 'Facing The Giants' about motivation. The frame is a coach showing a dispirited team (and particularly a lead member) that they can achieve more than they think if they get their heads down and go for it.

If you can look past the twanging of heartstrings, there are a few interesting things in this clip that are significant for changing minds, coaching and leadership:

  • The motivation or demotivation of a single person can seriously affect the motivation of an entire team.
  • When you stop looking at what you believe you cannot do, then you can do it.
  • Encouragement (positive feedback) can get people way past where they think they can go.
  • When you break personal barriers you can't say 'I can't do it'.
  • What you can achieve ends only when you drop with exhaustion, not when you give up.
  • Pushing your team, showing your passion, can create fantastic loyalty.

Sure, you could criticize some of this, but then if you're in a competitive position (as many of us are, whether we like it or not), then defeatism can be the vastly poorer option. Winning is a choice, just as giving up is a choice. One is harder, but the rewards are so much greater.

Your comments

What an important and inspiring post! Too often leaders forget the basics of engaging and inspiring the entire senior team. Too often, they lose their balance and push more than pull, critique more than connect. It starts with a simple concept: a mood check on yourself and on each member of your team. And keeping in mind the vision of what can be, translated into meaningful tangibles for each member.

As to your point about going beyond your own expectations, a visit to the training command for U.S. Navy Seals in San Diego was incredibly instructive. "How do you know which 50 of the incoming class of 200 or so will make it?" I asked. "On the first day or two I can spot the roughly 5% or 10% who will make it even if I cut off one of their limbs," said base commander, Robert Herbert. "By day three, I know which 5% to 10% will wash out. The challenge is that the best platoon leaders will come from the 80% in the middle. We find out who will graduate only when we take them to what they believe are their physical and psychological limits, then take them above and beyond those limits and they discover how much more they have."

Positivity is a contagious spirit. So is negativity. So make your choice.

Stephen H. Baum of

 Positive outlook and expectation to succeed I think are as important as talent itself, Maybe more, because with out those attributes, improvement would be impossible. I don't think there is an Olympic athlete alive who became one without the belief that he was capable.

I think the reason I like this site so much is its relevance to everyday life in general, and the fact that our interests seem to intersect.

Another post which fits right in with this discussion:

-- Gloria

Thank you for this very inspiring post... yes it might be slightly corny, but the underlying principles are rock solid... we are all too often beaten only by our perception of our limitations. When pushed by internal or external factors the true potential is reviled... we can all go the extra mile...

Thanks again...

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