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Creating Intrinsic Motivation for Real Humans

Much of the coaching work that I do, focuses on unwinding behaviors that we believe are required to succeed in our careers.

Words like powerful, quick, tough, professional, driving, smart, dedicated, strong work ethic, etc. come to mind.

These are how people, leaders in particular, wish to be described in their careers.

But when I ask these same people how they want their family and friends to describe them, the answers are more like: loving, kind, fun, supportive, present, giving, patient, etc. This is the ‘tombstone’ exercise. What would you hope your tombstone or obituary says?

I am fascinated by why we choose different descriptors.

Why do we believe that for businesses to be successful, we must act differently than how the ‘outside world’ operates?

Aren’t businesses run entirely by people????

This conundrum is why I moved out of large corporations and into small businesses early in my career.

But unfortunately, the ‘business’ behaviors did not disappear in small business.

Sometimes, they are magnified. Especially for leaders that fear vulnerability.

Why is vulnerability important?

Well… I said…..businesses are just people who choose to make money together.

And the people in your business, under your care, desire a genuine human experience at work.

We have been conditioned to expect otherwise though.

I was at a networking meeting with a young man who was 2 years out of college. He said he enjoyed the meetings because he could practice talking about business in a way that wasn’t all straight laced and buttoned up.

I hope this is a beacon for what leadership will look like for the next generation.

In the meantime, if you are exhausted wearing a ‘work’ face all day and want to explore what authentic, holistic leadership can do for you and your business culture, I can help.

We don’t have to let go of goals, accountability, and performance to be more human. In fact, these things actually get better when we are more authentic as leaders. We start to experience intrinsic motivation.

To discuss 1:1 and small group coaching with your team, email me at

Coaching for Life, Leadership & Everything In Between

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