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mo-ti-va-tion August 6, 2010

Posted by Pam in Leadership.
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I’ve been reflecting on what motivates people to do certain things.  How can I get them motivated to join the team, come out to training rides, raise funds, get more involved, etc, etc, etc.?

Over the 10 years of riding in the BikeMS (MS150 not so long ago), I’ve been motivated by various things.  The personal challenge was my very first motivator.  I was going through a rough time and not only needed the distraction, but the feeling of accomplishment…the self esteem booster.  I was on the inward track focusing solely on my own personal experience.  I was out there training…a lot!  After not having been on a bike since high school years, I needed that training!  My first attempt took me all of 2 blocks, had me huffing and puffing and sitting on the curb to catch my breath before taking the walk of shame back to the car.  Yes, I said WALK!  There was no way I was going to get back on that bike at that time or that day or even that week for that matter!  Before long though I was up to a mile, then 5 miles, then after a couple of sizing adjustments to my bike, 10 miles and it was on after that.

The next few years, my motivation stemmed from raising enough funds to win a prize.  Nothing major, but nice tokens as well as bike shop certificates to keep my tubes well supplied and upgrade my hydration equipment and some other nice upgrades along the way.  I definitely wasn’t as motivated to train.  Saturday mornings were met with one too many hits of the Snooze button and then “oops!  Missed the ride start! Oh well…zzzzzzzzzzzz.”  Weekday evening rides were met with successful convincing that it was way too hot outside or too rainy or the cool and dry movie theater was just calling my name.  More fundraising had been done so mission accomplished!  I also gained quite a bit more awareness of the disease and found more and more people with MS connections.

These past few years have been the most glorious, if you will.  I was thrust into the Team Captain role in 2008.  Yes, thrust…or pushed, shoved, tricked, suckered…take your pick.  However, it was the right thing at the right time.  My focus turned outward.  My motivation was not only towards the team’s needs, but also towards the MS cause as well.  Not only did I attend training rides, but I actually had to plan them and encourage others to come out and fundraise and raise awareness.  

These past few years have led me down a different path indeed.  One of service and commitment…being a Club 100 member for 2 years helped as well as serving as a committee member and not to mention all of the wonderful and dynamic people I’ve met along the way…some involved with the cause and some with the disease and some are both.  There’s a greater sense of community…of belonging.

So now I’m back to reflecting on what motivates others.  For some it may be the personal achievement, others the prizes and yet, others may be at a higher level of motivation…that of providing a service.  Hopefully, all feel welcomed and appreciated.  Now to tap into all of those different levels of motivation to create a successful team.  Maybe I should just make them ALL Team Captains…it worked for me!

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