The Critical Convergence: The Key To Unlocking The Cash Box Of Motivation

You're can't be a success unless others want you to be. Here’s a proven process to get people to take motivated action to achieve your success.

By Brent Filson - 12/2008

Leadership isn’t about having people do what they want. If the people you lead did what they wanted, your leadership wouldn’t be needed.

Leadership is about having people do what you want — and be totally committed to doing it.

In my previous article, I talked about the WHAT of your being challenged daily to motivate people of all ranks and functions who don’t report to you to be committed to your leadership.

In this article, I’ll talk about the HOW – HOW to have people do what they might not want to do for you and be ardently commited to doing it.

Here’s a three step process to make it happen. Before I describe the process, you should know the "Leader’s Fallacy."

We subscribe to the Leader’s Fallacy when we believe our enthusiasm with a particular leadership challenge is automatically reciprocated by the people we lead.

If ignorance is bliss then learning leaders going around blithely adhering to the Leader’s Fallacy have cornered the market on happiness.

Avoid the Leader’s Fallacy by instituting the Critical Convergence, the joining of your enthusiasms and theirs so they are as enthusiastic as you about meeting the challenges you face.

Since nobody is a success unless other people want them to be, you can’t get great results consistently unless a Critical Convergence takes place.

Don’t think the Critical Convergence will happen automatically. You must work hard to achieve it.

After all, you yourself must be motivated about those challenges. If you’re not motivated, you shouldn’t be leading. But your motivation is irrelevant. It’s simply a given. If you are not motivated, you shouldn’t be a leader—or you won’t be a leader for long.

The issue that goes right to the heart of your job and career success: Can you transfer your motivation to the people so they are as motivated as you are? And can you translate their motivation into actions that achieve results?

Here are three steps you can take to help make a Critical Convergence happen.

(1) Identify their needs. Everyone has major needs that shape their thinking and their actions. If you want people to take ardent action for you, you must first understand their needs.

This may seem obvious, but leaders often get in trouble applying this concept. They mistake point for process. Knowing they should identify the needs of the people is a point, but HOW they go about making that identification should be manifested by process.

Your identification process should be:

Here is a process to identify consistently the needs of the people you lead.

(2) Turn their needs into problems. Every need is really a problem crying out for a solution. When you see the problem in the need, you are better positioned to meet that need by using, let’s say, heuristic methods to solve the problem.

People in an organization, for instance, may feel isolated from their leaders because they believe those leaders aren’t listening to their concerns. That need takes on a more useful, motivational-leadership form when you look at it in terms of finding solutions to the problem it represents, i.e., what are ways leaders can better listen to the people to achieve more organizational results?

Make sure the people agree with you on what the need/problem actually is and that it is useful to solve it. ("Useful" means achieving results the organizational needs.)

(3) Make the solution to their problem drive their commitment to your cause. In other words, that solution must involve the people taking action that also achieves results you need.

The Critical Convergence is manifested by the "will achieve" technique.

This technique involves demonstrating in specific ways how the actions people take to solve their problem "will achieve" the fulfillment of the organizational objectives.

For instance, challenge the disgruntled, isolated people to develop processes that will motivate management to listen to them. Such motivation will happen when management understands that their listening to the people and acting on what they hear "will achieve" critical results the organization needs.

The "listening" processes might entail:

In this example, the Critical Convergence process has transformed a problem into a broad, results-generating system.

When you need people to get motivated to take action to get great results, use the Critical Convergence process.

You can boost the effectiveness of the Critical Convergence by taking a leadership perspective. People best solve their problems not when they have others do so but when they are taking leadership of the development and execution of the solutions.

See Four Steps To Making Motivation Stick.

Finally, the Critical Convergence is not "win/win". It’s much deeper and richer. Unlike "win/win", the Critical Convergence is an on-going relationship process from which flow mutually beneficial expectations and solutions.

Note From Brent Filson: If leadership isn’t motivational, it’s running around in the dark. I can help you relate to people in such a way that instead of thinking they must take the action you want, they think that they GET TO take that action. A big difference! I’ve had more than two decades of experience helping leaders of all ranks develop and develop their motivational skills. Please call, and let’s talk about how my methodologies can measurably enhance your job performance and career growth.

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"Brent Filson knows how to help others get results! His programs are proven in a variety of settings including industry, government, non-profit and the military proving that the way he practices and coaches leadership can work for any organization willing to invest the time and energy necessary to influence their people to produce at their highest productivity levels.”
—Joe Javorski, Director, Worldwide Staffing, Analog Devices

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—Robert Cancalosi, Global General Manager, General Electric Medical

Lots Of Help On My Web Site:

On my web site, you’ll find many of my books, articles, interviews, course descriptions, and instruction methodologies that will help you in many ways boost your job performance and advance your career by helping your clients get the right results in the right ways.

Best wishes,

Brent Filson
Brent Filson