Motivational Maps – Motivating Personal Growth

Motivational Maps – Motivating Personal Growth

by Kriss Akabusi

In this - my final post about Sale’s Motivational Maps – I’ll explain the Growth motivators that act as our raison d’être for personal growth.  If you haven’t read my other blogposts in this series already, you can find my introduction to Motivational Maps here, an explanation of Relationship motivators here, and an explanation of Achievement motivators here.

We’re all driven to achieve some form of personal, internal growth, but differ in what drives us to do so.  It’s these variations that make you a Creator, a Spirit, or a Searcher!

The Creator

Identifying a Creator:  If you can pull things together, create new things from old and apply innovation to any situation, you’re probably a Creator!  The Creator is the alchemist, the magician who sees potential newness.  Creators are always kicking ideas around, letting things brew and bubble beneath the surface, and then coming up with great new, revolutionary concepts!

Creators tend to know about lots of different things, seeing connections and applying ideas from one area into another.  They’re the kind of people who will look at other industries to see the processes that work, before finding a way to adapt them for their industry. 

It’s no surprise that there are lots of Creators in industries that rely on innovation and a different way of doing things.  Marketing agencies, creative agencies, digital design agencies are bursting with Creators who are ready to produce something new and exciting. They apply possibility thinking, constantly looking for ways to make something better by viewing it in the abstract.

How to motivate a Creator:  To come up with these innovative ideas, Creators need time, money and resources to allow their ideas to formulate and come to light.  In this way, they can be seen as wasteful and chaotic to non-Creators!  However, you need to allow them the opportunity to come to work to ‘play’ – so keep them aligned with people who can keep them directed.  One way to demotivate a Creator is to take credit for their ideas, so don’t do this if you want to keep them onside.  

Finally, it’s worth noting that a Creator may need a different type of management depending on their other motivational traits; a Creator-Defender needs to be creative in their own framework, a Creator-Spirit needs to be left to their own devices, and a Creator-Friend needs other people around them to get creative!

If you have a meeting full of Creators, a great meeting for them will have loads of tumult, brilliant ideas and a phenomenal ‘feel-good’ factor. They will leave that meeting bubbling with lots of positive attitude and good intentions, but if you are a Defender or Director you might be disappointed with the limited “measureable outcomes”!  If you need outcomes, then you might want to mention this beforehand.  Give the Creators an extended deadline outside of the meeting to cogitate and collaborate before they put their action plan together and outline the outcome. You will allow the Creator to give of their best if you understand how they work!

The Spirit

Identifying a Spirit:  The Spirit thrives on autonomy.  They are fiercely independent, striving to be in charge of themselves and make their own decisions.  Spirits want the freedom to find their own way and to do things on their terms.  This doesn’t mean they want power over others – like the Director – but they certainly want power over themselves and will resent having to ‘dance to someone else’s tune’.  Their perfect anthem is Frank Sinatra’s ‘I Did It My Way’!

To this end, the Spirit works very well on their own.  They can be tasked with a job and will manage themselves to see it through to the end, going about it as they see best.  They manage their own time well, finding it easy to undertake self-directed tasks.  

Identifying a Spirit in a social situation is easy – it’s the person who would rather go with their own flow than the flow of the crowd.  The Spirit will be the friend who will get themselves to the party at the time they want to arrive and will leave when they feel it’s time to go, on their own terms.  While others may find it easy to see where the night takes them, the Spirit will want to make sure it doesn’t end up somewhere they’d rather not be!

How to motivate a Spirit:  Spirits need their autonomy, their independence, so you need to allow them this if you want them to thrive.  Avoid micromanaging a Spirit; trust them to complete a job by employing their own methods.  If you have given them a responsibility, leave them to it – they’ll get it done, but not with your interference!  If you’ve given them a deadline to meet, trust them that they will.  Don’t keep checking in with them – the Spirit needs to do things in their own way!

The Searcher

Identifying a Searcher:  For a Searcher, there’s something more important than new ideas or independence, and that’s having an impact on the world.  Searchers tap into their core values and are constantly striving to add meaning to their life.  If you’re a Searcher, you realise that there is something bigger and better than you, and you want to play a part in it.  Searchers constantly strive to make a difference and are driven by the knowledge that their work counts.

Outcome-orientated, Searchers might be found in charities, NGOs, politics, science and research.  They derive pleasure from knowing that they are a small cog in a much bigger wheel, but their contribution can make all the difference to the big picture.  They may not be paid much, but it’s the monetary rewards don’t count for a Searcher – it’s about their impact instead.

We could look at the current situation in the Labour Party to identify a clash of Searchers.  On one hand, we have the MPs who say they can only make a difference by getting rid of Corbyn and achieving the power to act.  On the other, we have the Corbynistas who don’t want power at the expense of the party’s values.  It’s an impossible situation when core values come into play!

Or perhaps consider the classic story of the janitor who, when approached at NASA, said, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”  That’s a true indication of a cognitive Searcher.

Motivating a Searcher:  As Searchers are motivated by their impact, it’s important to let them know that their impact counts.  Thank them for their contribution, let them know that it’s been noted.  If it’s the person who organises the cake rota to get people together in the staffroom once a week, don’t just thank them – let them know how this contribution has helped those that they serve do their job better, delivering for the organisation or customer.  If it’s the employee who has stayed after work to make sure something was ready for the next day, make sure you recognise their efforts by showing them the letter from the client who could deliver on their objective due to the company hitting their SLA (Service Level Agreement).  That recognition goes a long way with a Searcher!


So there we have it – all the motivators on Sale’s Motivation Map extrapolated, explored, and explained!  And once you know what your core motivators are, you can begin to increase your motivation, whether that’s by finding a job that’s right for you, changing up your environment to trigger better responses, or simply understanding your relationships better.

Remember, we don’t fit into one trait only, but usually two or three, and as we go through life, these traits will change within us.  The trick with any transition is to identify which are the two to three motivators that make your soul sing, and the best way to do that is to start with a motivational audit. 

If you’re interested in seeing what your profile says about you and to get the help to interpret those results, drop me an inMessage to find out more!

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