14th July 2022 | Written by

Motivational Speakers Don’t Translate to Effective Leadership

Are you ready to solve the biggest problems holding back your leadership teams? There are plenty of options when it comes to tackling the issues plaguing your team, with motivational speakers often topping the list of solutions. But . . . are these speakers actually good for your team? Are they worth the investment? Can they jump on the stage and turn things around with a single speech?  Hiring motivational speakers won’t actually translate into effective leadership. They offer an in-the-moment excitement factor, but that doesn’t translate to organizational transformation. 

Why Motivational Speakers are Popular

Everyone loves a great speech. Think about those sports movie moments where the team is losing and the coach makes a great halftime speech to get them fired up. Add some motivational music and it gets everyone excited. How long does that moment really last though? Does it get you excited enough to make a big change and hit the gym every day for the next year? The reality we find in the structure of these speeches is that they inject the audience with a big dose of endorphins. It’s a feel-good moment with a bunch of energy in the crowd. And that’s where it ends. You get excited, go home, go to sleep and wake up without anything different in your core approach to the way you work and carry out your life. Building authenticity in your leadership team is a discipline, and to make impactful transformations, you need the right tools to get there. You need to implement change that is habitual and executed daily, not only in a single moment.

The Problem with Motivational Speakers, Keynotes, and Quick Fixes

The biggest issue with motivational speakers is the concept of having a quick solution for big problems. It’s really no different than a get-rich-quick scheme or infomercial.  As a business leader, you know the path to success requires hard work. When you watch those infomercials, I’m sure you either cringe or laugh. You put in the work every single day and earned your way to success. Now, you have a leadership team that is loaded with talent but they are holding back and not performing to their true potential. So, how do you change the culture and turn things around?  According to Vistage®, one of the key components of curing a company’s cultural issues is finding clarity. The article on Toxic Work Environments highlights several important points with input from Vistage speaker, David Friedman. Values, mission and culture are abstract concepts. Creating concrete examples brings clarity to the culture you want to foster. “Define the behaviors and actions that would lead to the healthy environment you’re trying to create,” Friedman said. “Then it is easy to recognize the places where that is or is not happening.” We love this quote because it’s rooted in truth. Finding that clarity is a huge milestone. After reaching clarity, you still need the discipline and process to integrate behavioral changes into the everyday. Motivational speakers simply do not focus on creating an environment to support your mission and your team.

Is there a solution that really transforms leadership?

According to Harvard Business Review, “70% of businesses fail in their attempts to create organizational change,” and we aren’t surprised. We see leadership teams every day that have attempted programs and hired speaker after speaker without making any notable progress toward curing their organizational slump. Your leadership needs help. They’re holding back the unique perspectives that can benefit your business processes, morale, and your bottom line. The actual processes we use in the Addictive Leadership program are simple, but they’re not easy. They require a daily commitment that forms better habits and makes real changes. When our partners implement these habits, they save 500 hours per employee in wasted time while also empowering the leaders in their company to take actions that matter. When they stop holding back and put their unique perspectives and skills to use, everyone benefits. Lisa Gevelber, VP of Global Marketing at Google understands the action required to make real change. She said: By sharing his deeply personal experiences and his Addictive Leadership Program, Michael is inviting us all to live up to our unique potential. As Michael says, this isn’t a program for those who need it. This isn’t a program for those who want it. It’s only a program for those who do it.  Even the best motivational speaker isn’t in a position to help your employees develop life-changing habits and they certainly can’t create a psychologically safe environment while only engaging the entire audience for a short speech. By implementing our “Say No” tactics and by practicing our day-to-day processes, your leadership team can stop holding back and accelerate performance. More importantly, they will be happier and have a better work/life balance that benefits long-term productivity and satisfaction.

Beyond the motivational moment

Are you ready to take action and make real, sweeping changes within your leadership team? Stay engaged with our resources on Linkedin and read more about Addictive Leadership to take control of your future.

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