It’s a New Year: Beware of Projectile Motivating!

Calling all leaders! Are you, like me, guilty of projectile motivating – inspiring your team with what inspires you?

According to research by Gallup, only 2 in 10 employees strongly agree that management motivates them to do outstanding work.

What if 2020 could be different? What would be possible if all of your team were motivated to do outstanding work?

To help aid you in the New Year’s Resolution to move your team from Meh to Motivated, we present:


Enneagram One Reformer

Motivated by: Perfection, excellence, improvement

Projectile Motivations: Critique every detail so it can be done perfectly. Provide step-by-step processes to follow, and reward for following them to the letter.

Instead, consider: Criticism and perfectionism can demotivate some people, as they start to feel nothing they do is good enough. Instead, use your Reformer superpowers to create a system: Map out your team’s personal motivators and set up a concrete, measurable plan for engaging each one – in their own way.

Enneagram Two Helper

Motivated by: Love, connection, community, helping others

Projectile Motivations: Team retreats, events, celebrations, volunteer activities, helping as many people as possible, words of affirmation, gifts and surprises.

Instead, consider: Team love-fests are not the only barometer of a healthy culture. Even those who appear more aloof and haven’t given you a compliment – ever – may love working for and with you. Lean into your Helper superpowers: Ask what motivates the individual and support them.

Enneagram Three Achiever

Motivated by: Success, image, money, winning, forward movement

Projectile Motivations: KPIs, raises/commissions, competition, public recognition, SMART goals/intentions, awards

Instead, consider: Not everyone wants to shine the way you do, or needs “forward movement” to feel worthy.  Constant measurement, competition and comparison – and non-stop working – can actually demotivate those who aren’t looking for “wins” the way you are. Instead, meet with each team member and help them design their own KPIs – Key Passion Indicators – that align with your business objectives and their motivation. Yay! Everybody wins!

Enneagram Four Individualist

Motivated by: Depth, beauty, artistry, emotional intelligence and authenticity

Projectile Motivations: Room to be yourself, space for creative expression and bucking the system – without too much structure or guidance

Instead, consider: The drive to stand apart and be uniquely expressed is wonderful for some – and a rudderless maze for others. Using your Individualist superpowers, you can discover each person’s authentic motivation, and enable each to create their own systems and processes around your unique ideas.

Enneagram Five Investigator

Motivated by: Expertise, competence, mastery, pioneering vision, creativity

Projectile Motivations: Deep. intricate R-and-D projects, time alone, long-term goals and objectives, independent exploration

Instead, consider: Others on your team may find a closed door and an intricate project to be a trap rather than a laboratory. Leverage your Investigator superpowers by researching past project successes to learn where each team member really shined – and recreate those conditions for them.

Enneagram Six Loyalist

Motivated by: Stability, loyalty, security, troubleshooting, skepticism, saving for a rainy day

Projectile Motivations: Stable, slow-moving processes and systems. In-depth quality-control and monitoring so that every move is tested and robust.

Instead, consider: Your questions, skepticism, and lengthy decision-making process can be discouraging to others who are motivated by forward movement. They may see your “realism” as “pessimism”. Use your Loyalist superpowers to support your team’s enthusiasm: Ask permission to troubleshoot potential pitfalls in their plans, but allow space for free-wheeling exploration and invention.

Enneagram Seven Enthusiast

Motivated by: Freedom, fun, positivity, play, ideas, the future – what’s next?!

Projectile Motivations: Vacation time, brainstorming sessions, creative ideas and expansion, money or fun gifts,  team events, happy hours, and parties

Instead, consider: What feels like a fantastic new idea – or 10 ideas – for a brilliant future can be stressful for a team struggling to integrate just one of last year’s ideas. The future is a playground for you, but other types need a solid foundation today. Apply your Enthusiast superpowers to create a chart displaying each person’s unique and interesting motivations, and encourage them to bring their own fun, playful ideas to work – at their own pace.

Enneagram Eight Challenger

Motivated by: Safety, control, respect, efficiency and effectiveness, leadership, power, intensity of experience, truth and justice

Projectile Motivations: Getting sh*t done! Treating people like adults and not micromanaging them. Assertively enforcing a No-BS zone focused on efficient execution and straight talk.

Instead, consider: You can be intimidating in your drive to activate and achieve – and in your willingness to speak uncomfortable truths. Not everyone moves with your focus and drive. Leverage your Challenger superpowers to ask each person on your team what motivates them, and break it down to the efficient bullet points you crave.  Empower your team to implement their own motivational strategies. Then, get out of their way and simply make yourself available to support them.

Enneagram Nine Peacemaker

Motivated by: Internal and external peace, daily habits and consistency, spiritual exploration, connection with others

Projectile Motivations: Stability and the status quo, moving forward slowly, and providing a comfortable, calm environment for people to do their work.

Instead, consider: Your stability is another team member’s boredom – or anxiety that the business isn’t moving forward. Not everyone needs to feel connected on a deep level to work in peace. Use your Peacemaker superpowers to connect with each team member, one-on-one, and discover their preferred pace.  Give them the space and the means to pursue their goals in their own way – even if it feels like rocking the boat to you. Remember: Sometimes the boat needs to rock a little to make progress.

Ready to crack the code on your team and move each member from Meh to Motivated? I’d love to chat with you!

Parillume helps teams shine. We’re the leadership development company revolutionizing business by empowering the individual to hack kryptonite and harness superpowers.

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