I can’t get much done by myself. Accounting, coding, sales, legal, design… I depend on other people to make these things happen, so my success depends directly on their enthusiasm to help. And since I’m not the richest, smartest, most successful or sexiest guy in the world, these people have better options than working with me. What keeps them motivated?
My secret is respect. Respect for what people do. Awe when they do it right. Celebrating their small achievements, and bestowing them with the sense that, yes, they have super powers. Because to me, they do have super powers.
My second secret is providing meaning. We live for meaning and self respect. Don’t underestimate the length your employees, contractors and vendors will go to maintain a high level of respect, but meaning is equally important. Tying the work people do to a larger meaning is an equally powerful motivator. So long as you are genuine in showing respect and sharing the meaning of the work, people will never tire of your message and they won’t tire of working with you.