What's your number? Do you know all your drivers?

21/09/2022

Have you ever analyized what are your deepest and not so deep inner drivers?  How they affect your way of thinking, behaviour, decisions?

Yes? Excellent! 

No? You should!

They are there, behind your mental steering wheel wether you know about them or not. So why not to know them and handle them ore build on them?

What are these drivers and why is it important to know about out them?

They are among our deepest motivators. They live deep within us, they are formed in us from childhood throughout our lives, and they influence our emotions, our behaviour, our thinking, our decisions, our values.

They determine how we react in a given situation. What emotions we feel , how we deal with those emotions, and how we react to them.

They determine how we perceive the behaviour and actions of others.

❗ We constantly switch our different triggers on and off. They fundamentally determine our behaviour, our attitudes, our daily impact on our environment and our team, the way we experience the organisation and thus the organisational culture.

And yes, leaders have drivers too. Although some have difficulty admitting it even to themselves.

Depending on the level of the leader, we can also talk about drivers that shape the vision and strategy of the company. Yes, it is hard to imagine and admit, but it can (also) determine where the company goes, what vision and strategy it adopts, or even how successful it is in delivering it.

Are the drivers wrong for us?

No. They are not good or bad. The drivers are us. They define us, they are part of our character, but it is important to be aware of them. We know what the buttons are on that particular control panel in our brain. And we have to be in control.

And awareness and control of the drivers is good for other things. What I find with a lot of leaders, is that they are surprised when they realise that drivers can also influence the expectations towards themselves. The can put the bar too high or also too low. The result: a sense of failure, frustration, failure, loss of energy, overload, burnout. When done well, the result: successful stakeholder and expectations management, a sense of achievement.

If we know our drivers and what turns them on, we can control them, use them, build on them. 

Inside out - Disney Pixar
Inside out - Disney Pixar

How many drivers can we have?

Any number. It could be 1, 2 or many more. This is determined by what has happened in our lives, how we have been influenced by our parents, our environment, our school, other events.

Some people have 1 or 2 buttons on, others have a whole disco ball with lights flashing all the time.

How can we get to know our drivers?

Continuous self-reflection and asking for feedback, and listening to the behaviour, reactions and emotions of others, helps us to map our drivers.

There are already very good tools for this, which allow us to easily compare our functioning mechanisms, our image of ourselves and what our environment perceives of us. We can very well measure the impact of our actions and behaviour on our environment, whether we are having the effect we want, whether we are directing our energies in the right direction, and what drivers are influencing our behaviour. In this way we can develop our EQ and manage our resources and energy well.

I know my drivers - what's next?

Analyse the picture and data and take conscious action where necessary.

But you don't have to work alone. It's good to have support to identify and raise awareness, and it's good to have support to develop a coping strategy and to implement and reinforce it on an ongoing basis. You don't have to do it alone, you can have one or more allies, support systems.

So - do you know all your drivers and can you control them?

A list of drivers collected during a leadership mentoring session, based on his own assessment and feedback from his team.
A list of drivers collected during a leadership mentoring session, based on his own assessment and feedback from his team.