Like many words in our language, the word “motivate” comes from Latin—in this case, movere, meaning “to move.” A motive is something that moves someone to act a certain way. Motivation is the state of “being moved into action.”
When someone is emotional, he or she may be “moved to tears.” Something moved or stirred that person. Influence is the ability to move people in a specified direction. Great leaders recognize that influence is fundamentally driven by an emotional connection to a cause or action.
You must have a compelling and persuasive reason to get people to change their behavior and pursue a cause they believe in. Reason and logic are certainly important, but emotion is far more powerful in producing outcomes.
Great movements are driven not by good reasons, but by powerful feelings. If you want to attract more customers and business partners, you have to figure out how to make your offer emotionally compelling. For example, social psychologists know one of the most powerful emotions is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, which originally means “possessed by the gods,” is an emotional state of being that acts like a powerful magnet!
Imagine two people talking about the same thing and covering the exact same information, but with two very different energy levels. One person is calm, cool, and logical, whereas the other person acts and looks enthusiastic. I’m not talking about an over-the-top display of emotion that feels fake and disingenuous. I’m talking about genuine and authentic enthusiasm that comes from truly being passionate and believing in a cause.
That approach will move and motivate others to act in a far more dynamic manner. Not only will it cause others to act, it will be incredibly attractive to people all around. People crave authenticity these days. People are dying for significance. People want to be part of a community that is centered around their core values, a community of people who are enthusiastic and optimistic about what lies ahead.
This is the power of emotion. It literally shapes the landscape of life and gets people to do things they never would have considered before. If you want to build a dynamic business filled with dedicated people, spend your time creating a powerful and moving vision that people feel magically drawn to. Show them the power of meaning and significance. Show them the power of community. Show them the power of security and freedom and what it can provide in life.
People all around the world are looking for ways to fill these core needs. As a result, the most successful leaders have developed the ability to take these core needs and wrap them in the cloak of an emotionally compelling vision.
If you do this, you will attract people who will follow you wherever you want to take them.
WALTER NUSBAUM is an accomplished speaker, organizational consultant, and author. His book Do You Have What It Takes? focuses on the critical traits of all successful people and organizational cultures. As CEO of the Nusbaum Group, Walter has worked with thousands of successful leaders and knows exactly what it takes to achieve powerful results.