Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hey Leader… PHAT is Good For You!

Guest post from Dean Lindsay:

I read a funny cartoon in Fast Company magazine a good while back.  It was of two fish
swimming next to each other.  One of the fish had a hook dangling from its mouth.  That fish said, “Oh, it was a scary couple of minutes, but now I am making a fortune as a motivational speaker.” 

A few times over the years I have been referred to as a motivational speaker and at first I really didn’t care for it. It doesn’t bother me so much anymore, it kind of helps my day rate.  Anyway, I had this image of a motivational speaker as being a kind of smarmy, slightly out of touch and over-the-top “people person,” who sprinted through crowds giving everybody high fives, before ascending to the podium to share his rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches story. 

He or she might then encourage seminar goers to turn to their neighbor and repeat a soulful mantra like, “I am.  I will.  I can,” followed by a cleansing breath, a mindful hokey pokey, the sharing of a deep secret and a good cathartic cry.

But as I sought the fundamental meaning of being motivational, I came to realize that each of us has the need and the opportunity to be motivational every day of our lives. 

Effective teachers are motivational.
Effective parents are motivational. 
Effective leaders are motivational. 
I sure as heck better be motivational.  As a leader, you had better be too.  Why else would others listen to us or be led by us? 

The word “motivation” can be broken down into two root words:  Motive & Action.

Motive: an inner drive that prompts a person to act in a certain way.  Motive is the goal or object of one’s action.  Other words for motive include reasons, purpose, intention. 

Action: the doing of something.  Examples of actions include:   Do, rent, read, act, try, sign up, show up, eat, move.

Motivation, therefore, is: the inner drive to do, to try, motivation is the internal reasons to act.

Simply put:  Internalized Reasons Create Movement.  It is not a goal that motivates, but internalized reasons behind a goal that propels action. 

Shakespeare wrote, “Strong reasons make strong actions.” For others to choose to take the strong actions we need them to take, they have strong reasons. These reasons have to way heavy in there mind. These reasons must be PHAT!

PHAT stands for Pretty, Hot And Tempting.  Basically PHAT means attractive and not attractive like I want to smooch you, but attractive like I want follow you, be lead by you.

It must weigh heavy in the minds of the people we desire to inspire to action (lead) that our ideas, our leadership, and our initiatives will help them personally move forward.  Organizations are only as strong as their team members’ personal goals and the team members’ belief that the organization’s progress helps them progress toward those goals.

Effective leaders learn about team members, employees, coworkers, and customers, uncovering their unique reasons to act.  The more we can get into the shoes, hearts, and heads of the people we desire to inspire to action, the more powerfully we are able to share why our initiatives, ideas, products, and services are beneficial and valuable to them.  It’s Influence.  It’s Persuasion.  It’s Attraction.  And, yes it's motivational.  Make your leadership PHAT (Pretty, Hot And Tempting)… it’s good for you, your team and your organization!!  

Dean Lindsay, author of HOW TO ACHIEVE BIG PHAT GOALS, is a graduate of the University of North Texas and served on the advisory board for UNT’s Department of Marketing and Logistics. He has helped build engaged sales leadership and customer service cultures at a variety of companies, such as New York Life, Gold’s Gym, and many more. For more information, please visit

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