"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."
— Charles Dudley Warner, American essayist
It is March. I just checked the calendar again, and despite the fact that it was negative 2 degrees when I got up this morning (and that's without the windchill factor), it really and truly is March. And you know what that means. Even if the thermometer is not cooperating yet, spring is coming. Nothing can stop it. It will be here. It will.
I don't know about you, but I've never felt so downtrodden by winter before. Maybe it was all the record cold. Maybe it's the sheet of ice that's sitting on every path and sidewalk and keeping me from actually enjoying my outdoor walks. Whatever it is, spring cannot come soon enough.
It highlights something that occurs to me every year around this time. I think we misplace our hopes for change by making our resolutions on January 1. I mean, why make all that investment in change during what really should be the most lethargic month of the year?
Sure, that's mostly just excuse-making. I came into January raring to go, and got a lot accomplished. And then the polar vortex kept us all indoors for three days, and February ended up being a wash. So last week I decided that March will be my month!
And now, of course, the polar vortex has returned. But it doesn't matter. I know spring is coming, and I can keep my motivation through a couple of brutally cold days.
Yes, I just spent nearly 250 words complaining about the weather. But if you're in the business of motivating people to achieve goals, it's worth thinking about the weather. Not just the literal weather, and all the ways it affects our ability to move ahead. But also, the weather of your organization.
You set important goals for your employees, for your sales reps, for your partners and customers. But do you also set up a framework that makes it possible to achieve those goals? Do you offer rewards and recognition not just at the point of completion, but when you see people moving in the right direction along the way from here to there?
Most of our motivation has to come from within, but there's a lot of things that can happen externally that can hamper that motivation.
You can move the needle, but make sure you're not creating unnecessary obstacles along the way.
And in the meantime, don't let the weather get you down.