“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
As a mentor put it to me a long time ago, “without the skills, you’re a motivated idiot.”
His point was simple: motivation + skills = results.
Is it a Motivation or Ability Issue?
Whenever I need to improve myself or help somebody with a change, I first figure out whether it’s a motivation or a skills issue. Interestingly, many times a motivation issue is a skills issue in disguise.
I also use this motivation and skills lens to evaluate any advice. Is the advice offering any actionable insight, skills, and techniques … or just motivation and inspiration … or both? This simple frame helps me cut to the chase to get to what I need and ignore the rest.
Motivation, Skills, and Feedback Frame
While I was giving a talk to our Microsoft Learning and Development group, I drew a very simple table on the whiteboard. It included motivation, skills, and feedback. I referred to this as the Motivation, Skills, and Feedback frame:
As you can see, this frame organizes some cutting questions. It helps you get clarity on where the issue is.
Motivation + Skills + Feedback = Effective Results
If you have the skills, but lack the motivation, you won’t accomplish much. If you have the motivation, but lack the skills, you’ll spin your wheels. Ultimately, you need the right blend of motivation, skills and feedback for effective results. The key here is that effective feedback is your ticket out of ineffective loops.
This frame is time-tested and I’ve used it countless times to improve personal, team, and organization results.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way … but it’s faster, easier, and simpler when you have the right skills, too.
Photo by johntrainor.