SBM Articles


Outside Perspective and Intrinsic Motivators

by Mark McClanahan

From time to time, my focus and concentration in my role at Mosby Building Arts narrow and become clouded. I get so wrapped up in the business that I lose perspective and, frankly, my decision-making lacks its full potential. Recently, an outside event helped clear my head, allowing me to focus on what is important in my leadership role at the company.

For the past two years, I’ve been a volunteer coach for a local high school racquetball team. A few months ago, the team I coach played in the annual national high school tournament. This is a five-day, competitive event involving 350-plus teens from across the country.

What I witnessed here was nothing less than inspirational. By the end of the event, these teens, from novice to expert, wearing KT Tape, bandages and ice packs, played through injuries and emotional ups and downs that would put most professionals on the disabled list. Why did they do this? These young athletes proved to me that well beyond extrinsic rewards, there are intrinsic motivators, which drive individuals to be the best they can be even in the face of significant challenges. Some of the motivators I witnessed included the desire to contribute to the team, the will to overcome a challenge and the sheer enjoyment of participation.

So, big takeaway No. 1 for me is to remember that there are inherit reasons people work in a particular role and that a leader’s responsibility is to reinforce such motivation. My second big takeaway is to embrace volunteer roles as a way to refocus and recharge oneself. This cannot be understated. Selflessly giving oneself to outside causes allows one to clear the mind and return fresh, seeing work through new lenses.

Mark McClanahan ( or 314.909.1800) is the president at Mosby Building Arts.
Submitted 4 years 74 days ago
Categories: categorySmall Business Sense
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