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I realize that this is a business query, but my example will come from the world of basketball. The original article in which this appears is from a Bill Simmons piece written for ESPN.com. The topic is about the great basketball coach, Pat Riley, who coincidentally does motivation seminars for business organizations:
I once heard a great story about Game 6 of the 2006 Finals, when Miami was trying to clinch the title in Dallas, from someone who has seen the unedited footage of Miami's huddles in the second-half timeouts. Pat Riley basically stopped coaching. Threw out his X's and O's. Quit giving advice. Stopped drawing up plays.
So what did he do? He screamed at his guys like a boxing trainer. You're tougher than them! YOU'RE TOUGHER THAN THEM! Don't let up! They are ready to quit! They are ready to fold! Keep attacking them! Keep getting to the rim! Keep knocking their a@*es down! No layups! No dunks! Stay together! YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN THEM! YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN THEM! That's what he did for the entire second half. Eventually, his players believed him.
The motivational element here is that Coach Riley ended up appealing to his athletes through emotional language. The idea of a basketball coach "throwing out basketball" and actually speaking to his athletes as a coach of another sport represents the great skill of being able to understand the need of all great motivators: Different tools for different jobs. Motivation means understanding what is needed at a particular moment in time, and Coach Riley understood that with precision and startling accuracy.
Another great example of motivation would actually come from the Bhagavad- Gita. Assembled on the battlefield, the great archer and warrior, Arjuna, was preparing to fight. He ordered his charioteer, Lord Krishna, to slow down his advance and Arjuna stared at the opposing side that was filled with relatives, former friends, and intense hated directed at Arjuna. For his part the great warrior became dejected and laid down his arms at Krishna's feet, explaining that he lacked the will and focus to fight. The entire Gita is Krishna's motivational speech for Arjuna. Essentially, Krishna compels Arjuna to accept that there is a larger element present and embracing this is what can compel him to do his duty without fear of consequences. In the end, this is a great motivator in that he is able to convince Arjuna that the larger goal is one that exists outside of his own existential crisis, and that seeing himself in this larger configuration can help ease his pain. It does and Arjuna triumphs with his faith in Krishna's motivation.
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