I love twitter.  It’s 140 characters often filled with genius or idiot and I love it all.  Over the weekend, I tweeted this:

“Leaders are required to push the people they lead past their comfort zone. Anything less is not #leadership, it’s acceptance of average.”

And a follower responded with this:

@MattManero you cannot push people if they don´t want to be pushed (unless you´re a dictator ;”)

It’s a very interesting discussion.  Because I think most people read my tweet and spend their time thinking about the people who are being lead, supposedly the “unmotivated”.  I, on the other hand, look at it as what YOU as the leader must do regardless of who you are leading.

Our exchange indicates the shortcomings on the part of most leaders.  With 100% certainty, you CAN motivate the unmotivated…it’s your job as the leader to make the unmotivated…well…MOTIVATED. Remember…it’s called LEADERSHIP for a reason!

I did not serve in the military (one of the few regrets in my life), and when I’m leading I always think about what a platoon leader must face in the heat of battle.  Do you think everyone in his/her platoon is motivated and wants to go into battle?  I doubt it.  But the leader in that situation must rally the troops and remind them of the mission at hand and turn them into motivated soldiers.  That is the ultimate display of true leadership.

Our mission as leaders is to build a cause so big, that everyone around you wants to be part of it and therefore, follow your lead.

Here are my 5 quick steps to turn someone who is supposedly “unmotivated” and help them become motivated.

  1. Be 100% confident in the task at hand. You must always show your team unyielding confidence that the mission is worthy and will be accomplished.  Your troops need to see that their leader is 100% invested in the task at hand.
  2. Lead through example. The best leaders in my book are people who have done and are still willing to do the grunt work.  Get on the phone and close a deal.  Be willing to pack boxes when it’s holiday season.  Push the damn lawnmower when you are short staffed.  Barking orders is never well received if you are not willing to do the work you are asking your team to do and lead by example.
  3. Have clear expectations and push hard. Most people want to be lead, but they need to have clear expectations of what they are being asked to do.  Do not be vague here, have very specific expectations of what everyone is required to do.  Once you have taken the time to determine the expectation AND you have shared the expectations, get out of the way, and watch the magic happen.
  4. Be humble. Just because you have the title doesn’t mean you have the right to be an ass.  Show humility and understand during difficult times.  Being humble does not mean being weak.  There is a huge difference.
  5. Be motivating. Have YOU skilled up to your full potential as a leader? Use all of the tricks in your tool belt.  Use music, energy, examples, videos, articles, white boards, competitions and quotes to keep yourself and your team motivated at all times.

 Leadership requires just that…leadership.  If your team is deemed “unmotivated” it is more of a reflection of you as the leader than the people you are leading.  Great leaders understand this.  Not everyone is cut out to lead.  But once you become the leader, you must always push your team further than they will push themselves.  Do this consistently, and the motivation of your team will follow.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt Manero is the Founder and President of Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc. (CFF) located in Dallas, TX. CFF is celebrating its 21st year in business and provides financing for commercial fleet vehicles such as box trucks, cargo vans, big rigs, tow trucks, dump trucks and construction equipment. CFF is a 3-time winner of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Inc. Magazine Top 500/5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Matt has helped dozens of employees and thousands of small business owners move closer to the money they deserve. He is the author of, “The Grit”, and his forthcoming book, “I NEED MORE MONEY” will be out in 2017.  Learn more at or call 972.247.8447 phone or on all social media platforms via @Matt Manero.