The Law of SUCCESSFUL movement

Last week we discussed that leaders are in the business of creating movement, and then we shared the universal law of movement. Please do yourself a favour and listen to the podcast.

Today we share principles on how you turn the law of movement into positive (successful) movement – personally and as a business.

First a quick reminder:

We have discovered, and continue to rediscover that, in essence, there are two expectations of all leaders:

  1. To create movement! We place someone in a leadership position and expect them bring about improvement, performance, growth, change, to maximize, and so on! They take a situation that has been thrust upon them, or that they thrust upon themselves, from where it currently is to a better place in the future – they create movement! 100 years ago this was the case, and 100 years hence it will still be so. This is universal and a non-negotiable!
  2. Then, we expect a leader to behave in a certain way, while creating the movement – this is why we create values in organisations, for example. The way we expected leaders to behave 100 years ago may be different from how we expect them to behave in 2015. And in 100 yrs from today, who knows.

Two quick things about behaviour:

1) it is situational – a leader’s behaviour will be different in times of crises vs times of success, war and peace, and

2) it is very difficult to change behaviour.

Movement can be taught:

All movement (bird, business, relationships) in life is governed (regulated) by the integration of only three things: motivation, direction and structure! All three these elements must come together – not one or two, but all three!

  • Motivation is the energy needed for anything to move, it actually sparks, fuels the movement. But, if you don’t attach some direction to the motivation, it is useless.
  • Direction – plans, goals, how? Motivation cannot exist without direction! And Motivation & Direction without structure stands still!
  • Structure – organisation, facilities, resources, systems, procedures that give substance to motivation and direction.

Please understand that whenever you walk, drive, fly, grow a business or division, run a project, there is always motivation present that sparks the movement, with a direction being implemented and some structure that gives substance.

If you want positive movement (greater success) you need to ensure the following:

  • Clarity of and passion for the source of the motivation
  • Accurate and simple direction
  • Relevant structure

So, when the source of your personal motivation (intent, motive, purpose, reason, the why) for getting up every day and running through your list of things to do is crystal clear, and you feel inspired by it, passionate about it; and your direction (plan, how you will give life to the source), is accurate and simple, with relevant structure (system, facility, resource), then your movement will be more positive (successful); you will also have more resilience and endurance.

The clarity of the source that fuels, sparks your motivation determines the level of your aspirations. In fact, your source could also become your destination or aspiration. Why am I motivated to get up every single day? Do I have to, or want to? If its “have to”, it is a lower form of motivation, unless it is a matter of life and death, survival. Such a source of motivation can keep one going strongly for a long time, but eventually you have to take it to another level, especially if you want positive movement.

If you “want to”, you are on the better road to ultimate motivation? Now investigate the source, real reason why you want to. If the answer inspires you, you will raise the level of your aspirations, your vision.

Example 1: Employee not performing, not moving optimally.

Remember, he/she is already moving. He came to work, didn’t he? He is moving on the job, isn’t he? Perhaps not optimally, but movement is already in progress – otherwise he would be lying dead on his bed – so there is some motivation, direction and structure. But, zoom in on the source of motivation, ranging from ‘on the surface’ to ‘deeper ones’ – in other words, just wanting to earn a living, to wanting to be part of something great. Find out what really drives this person to get up and move every day – their deepest source of motivation, and then connect your own source, and that of the business, to theirs. So ideally you have to know three sources of motivation – your own, the business’ (division) and theirs. There after follows the same approach on the directional level and structure as well.

Try asking this question: Mention three things you are really proud of and why? This will help to understand what motivates the person.

Example 2: Business not performing, or moving as it should: Could the same process apply? Yes! Questions to ask:

  1. Are you crystal clear on why there is motivation for your business to move, what the source (need) is that fuels, sparks motivation for your business to exist? Your real, deeper reason for existence? Doing the “why-drill” always helps to get behind the obvious. For example, are we at Leadership Platform doing leadership development – multiplying leaders? Yes, but why? Because you cannot leapfrog “leadership” in your movement towards your ultimate potential. We are actually in the business of helping people move towards their full potential. And, if we don’t, we as a nation will lose our leadership heritage, and the alternative is a downward spiral towards failing businesses, failing schools, failing delivery with resultant violent protests, a failing power grid, more crime – in short, anarchy, lack of positive movement. This is part of the source of motivation for LP – helping people move towards their full potential, and to prevent society from absolute decay, anarchy. We are inspired by this, and passionate about it!
  2. Is your direction, the how, accurate and extremely simple, because you can be deeply driven and motivated…in the wrong direction. And if your direction is complex, you struggle to align it with the directions of other stakeholders, including staff, who individually have their own motivations, directions and structures to deal with. Life is complex enough, don’t make it worse! For example: How does LP direct its source of motivation? We multiply movement specialists in society and businesses, because then we awaken the leadership instincts in people, so that they can move society in a positive direction.
  3. Are your structures relevant? Do they support, very directly, cost effectively and in simplicity the accurate and simple directions and clear source of motivation?

Now, our experience is this – very often leaders at the top of any organisation, have budget to bring in heavy weight consultants to assist them with this type of thinking, or come close at least. But, it will not help to learn the skill of positive movement dynamics at the very top only, because the junior leader at the bottom must also create successful movement, do what we have discussed and more. So, he/she should learn to apply these same principles on a daily basis.

In summary: For positive, successful movement, expand the law of movement by integrating:

  • Clarity of and passion for the source of the motivation
  • Accurate and simple direction
  • Relevant structure

We challenge you to listen to last week’s podcast and perhaps the one on this topic

  – and then ponder this process, try to implement it to create positive movement!

Applying this law is simple, but difficult. Look out for more on this soon.


Do you recognise some areas in yourself as a leader or areas in your team that need improvement?

Contact Adriaan Groenewald for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside you as a leader and your organisation.

Adriaan Groenewald is an Authentic Leadership Activist

CONNECT WITH LP :    Twitter: Adriaan & Leadership Platform

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Adriaan, as an accomplished author and leadership advisor, has been interviewing and working with top leaders for more than 15 years. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leadership Platform. (Twitter: @AdriaanG_LP)

Call: +27 (0)12 653 3022

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Leadership Platform is a specialist leadership development consultancy, focusing on creating measurable impact to the bottom line through the enhancement of leadership understanding and engagement.


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