Friday, May 13, 2011

Motivation & Memories

from the Talking Media Sales site:

How to Turn Memories Into Success

Written by Josh Easby

When I got into my car this morning, I reached for my keys and immediately felt the comforting weight of the metal fob that serves as my key ring.

It’s just a piece of polished metal, scuffed on both sides and intrinsically, it’s probably worth less than a cup of coffee. But to me it’s a valued possession.

On one side are inscribed the words: ‘Member of the Marcher Millionaires’ Club.’

It refers to a UK business where I worked about 10 years ago – and where I became one of about 50 employees presented with the key rings at a staff party. We were celebrating our collective achievement of turning round a struggling business, and we had finally hit our profit target of £1 million in a year.

I look back and realise the power of that memento, bought for a few pennies but worth far more than any expensive present or a night on the town paid for by the company.

I see the key ring every day and it reminds me of the outstanding team of people with whom I worked. I imagine where they are today, spread over the globe (many of us keep in touch via Facebook) and I know most have continued the success of their careers.

Most successful teams understand the need to link performance with rewards and recognition. Hitting target is rewarded with bonuses, incentives or career advancement. Top performers are rightly recognised by their peers through company and industry awards.

But too often we forget that one of the strongest motivators of performance is the sense of belonging to a winning team.

Finding a simple symbol that represents the bond felt by a winning team can be powerful.

I once worked with a team, many of whom were members of a bike gang, who worked at a meat processing factory – hard work in tough conditions, but they were up there with the best. They commissioned their own T-shirt that bore the nickname (‘The Broncos’) they’d created for themselves.

The T-shirt helped cement the bond between team members, just as my key ring continues to do for my old team at Marcher.

Ask any veteran in any industry to name the best team they ever worked in and I’ll wager they won’t have to think for long. I’ve been in business for 40 years and reckon I’ve been part of truly outstanding teams only three times (representing less than half the length of my career).

And after comparing notes with friends and colleagues, I reckon I’ve been lucky to find three!

One of them was at Marcher.

To this day, I’m grateful the managing director had the foresight to get a few key rings inscribed and presented.

My battered key ring (which will last for many more years) ensures I’ll long remember the power of having clear objectives and working beside people who shared the same passion and commitment to achieving them. It’s a symbol of their success and of my own, and gives me a boost whenever I feel the need.

Investing in memories can be the greatest reward of all.

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