How Driven Are You?

Good things don’t come to those who wait. Good things come to those who are driven enough.

Everyone throughout the world are driven by different things. For example, I am driven by helping others. Hence, I am writing my articles and my other materials to help people with their leadership, and with their personal growth. When people are inspired, they are driven internally, from how they are feeling inside of themselves.

When people are motivated, they are driven externally, so it requires certain actions from others that will motivate them. Highly effective leaders don’t have any issue with being inspired, and driving themselves from within. Low performing leaders are not driven from within, so they need the actions of others to motivate them.

Highly effective leaders in every industry in the world are driven in the same way. The principles you are learning as you go through this article and my other articles, they are proven and tested to work. Highly effective leaders are aligned with these principles and embrace them all the same.

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How we can differentiate between each highly effective leader is the results they see both individually and as a team. The description of how/where they applied these principles will be different with each highly effective leader. The principles are the same, but the application is what is different.

What inspires and drives each highly effective leader will also be different, as this is very personal to the individual.

1. What Drives YOU?

Do you want to become a highly effective leader? How driven are you right now?. What being driven actually means as a highly effective leader is; don’t wait for things. Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Don’t wait for things to happen within your team or organisation. Don’t be afraid to say what you think, at the right time.

When you become a highly effective leader, you will be driven to be proactive. So, if you think something should be done, then do everything you can to get it done. If you have an idea that you think will work, talk to your boss and recommend the idea to him/her.

Don’t give up until the idea is at least tried out. If it doesn’t work, move on. If it does work, then do everything you can to get the idea implemented. The most important thing is DO NOT GIVE UP!

A low performing leader will do everything they can to get away with as much as possible. All they want to do is get through their hours for the day, and then go home. They will not think for themselves, or be proactive. They will wait to be told what to do by their boss, or someone else’s boss.

I have actually heard people say in the previous places I have worked, “I’m doing nothing today, Tom you are doing all the work today.” So, I asked “Why is that? Why am I doing all the work, and you nothing?” They replied, “Because I don’t want to be here. If I don’t have to do anything, then I won’t.”

What an attitude to have. I was only young then. But, if I had a person like that on my team when I was a leader, they wouldn’t be on my team for much longer. They were not driven whatsoever. They didn’t care. They had no purpose. It is very sad to think that there are people like that in our workplaces.

2. Who Do YOU Want To Become?

As a highly effective leader, you will have the drive to improve things within your team and your organisation. This is the type of person I would want on my team. I want the type of person who thinks ahead.

So, if they are currently working on a task to improve things, they are already thinking about the next improvement, and then the next improvement. They will have a vision of what their improvement ideas look like, and be driven to get their ideas implemented.

Would you want a highly effective leader like that on your team? Or, could you become that highly effective leader? Do you have the drive to become this?

When I was part of the asset management strategy team working for Liverpool’s train operating company, I led a number of activities. 50% of the activities were done as part of a team that I led, and 50% of the activities I did as an individual that didn’t require others all the time.

However, when working on my own, I didn’t see it as actually working on my own. I always felt part of the team, and I wanted to make the best of the new asset management strategy. I had a purpose, and I wanted to make as big an impact as possible.

I felt like a highly effective leader, and I actually was a highly effective leader. This wasn’t trained into me, or a motivation from somebody else. This was inspiration from within.

I was part of something that I knew would make improvements on the performance of our trains, and most importantly our people within the organisation. I was driven to ensure that these improvements happened, and that everyone within our organisation benefited from it.

I made sure that the other members of the asset management strategy team had the same opportunities to put their mark on it. I wanted them to make a difference too. So, we swapped roles.

3. What Are YOU Willing To Share?

Some days I would be leader, and other days someone else would be leader, and then someone else. It was a great way to share ideas, experiences, and it became a lot of fun. We were all driven to make this strategy work, and it did.

We improved the performance of the trains in service to 40% from 2008 to 2009. This was one of the biggest improvements that the company ever made, especially in the engineering department.

Everybody was really happy at the time, and things were going well. We were all helping each other as a team, and were looking out for each other. That is exactly what highly effective leaders do, and we were very driven highly effective leaders.

Other train operator’s in the UK were curious about what we were doing. They wanted to know why we had improved our fleet of trains by so much. We were getting visits from them down in Liverpool. So, I pulled together a few of the team and we presented our strategy to the other train operator’s.

They were really impressed, and were going to try out some of the same ideas on their own fleet of trains. Which in itself was a huge compliment to us.

As you can imagine, the low performing leaders did a lot of moaning and groaning during this time. They were complaining that they had to do more work, and that the job was difficult. When in fact what we were doing was making their job easier.

It just seemed harder because they didn’t do a lot most of the time normally. Anyway, their complaints were falling on deaf ears. We knew what we did was great, and we were very proud.

4. Does Your Vision Drive YOU?

Our engineering director Kevin began the new asset management strategy. It was his vision, his mission, but it was ours to deliver. He inspired us to take this on ourselves, as our own, and do something that made a huge difference to the whole organisation.

Kevin was one of the most driven people I had ever met, even now 10 years later. Even though he was the engineering director, he portrayed most, if not all of the traits of a highly effective leader.

When he went through the strategy with us as a team for the first time, he kept referring to US, or “WE”. Not “you”, or “them”.

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It was always “We can make the difference.” Or, “There is only us who can make the difference.” It was phrases like this that inspired us as a team, especially me. I remember these exact words “We will be the team who will have a positive influence on the whole organisation. We have the opportunity to make a huge impact and make a difference starting from now. We don’t need to have a certain job title, or be in a position of power. We can make a difference right now.”

I will never forget those words. The reason I won’t forget them is because I have used the same words when talking to my future teams. Kevin was a huge influence on me, and a role model. He was a very driven, highly effective leader.

Are you driven enough to be the same or similar?

To be truly successful, we must be excellent. To be excellent we must compare ourselves against our own potential. Not comparing ourselves against others.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

25 thoughts on “How Driven Are You?

  1. This is a good article. We all know someone who always say “I’m going to do this”, but never have the drive to do so. Especially in a very competitive world, we need to work hard for what we want.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found this a good article.

      You are right, we really do need to work hard for what we want.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. I have heard that when your vision doesn’t scare you; it is not big enough to drive you. Too many times we compare ourselves to others and that drives us towards failure and mediocre. I agree with you on the fact that “we must compare ourselves against our own potential to be excellent”
    Great article!

    1. Hi A ekufaa,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you found the article valuable.

      I totally agree that when our vision makes us a little frightened it will drive you forward. Comparing ourselves against who we were yesterday is the only way to reach our potential for real.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. Great article on how driven are you. This can help so many people nowadays. I totally agree with good things don’t come to those who wait. It’s so important for people to take steps to improve and this information could help so much.

    Do you recommend a book or program to help with this?

    1. Hi Alyse,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found the article helpful.

      I am actually working on a program and book that includes this exact topic. So, watch this space.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. It is a very good article that drives us to think more about ourselves. Think over self potential in deepness instead of comparing with others. What advantages we have, what can drive us to make effort, and what goal we can achieve through our hardworking.

    Thank you Tom for your another great post to inspire us.

    1. Hi Daisy,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you found the article inspiring.

      I completely agree with you that we must not be comparing ourselves with others. We must be comparing ourselves to how good we were yesterday,a nd who we were yesterday so that we can keep getting better at being ourselves.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. I loved the opening line. I have a friend with big dreams, but refuses to do anything about those dreams. And yet still expects them to come true. The scarier the dream, the more driven you have to be. I work hard at my dream every day, and people don’t understand why I put so much effort into something that might not come to fruition. But I’m just the kind of person who is driven to work as hard as I can until it does happen. Loved this article. Very valuable insight. Thanks for this article!

    1. Hi Erika,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased you found the article valuable.

      I appreciate you sharing your experiences with your friend, and how you work on your own dreams. All the effort you put into working on yourself and your dreams is so inspiring. How are you helping your friend pursue their dream?

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  6. Hi Tom,
    It is important to me to work with highly driven people. I am and being around others that are like-minded increases my productivity. I once worked in a group that became angry at me because I worked beyond expectation. They complained that I was going to increase the amount of work expected to be accomplished.
    My brain almost didn’t understand what they were saying at first. I had to move on to another job because I understood that one was not a good influence on my work ethic.
    Good things may come to those who wait, but great things come to those who are driven.

    Thanks for great advice.

    1. Hi Greg,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really happy that you found this article great advice.

      I appreciate you sharing your insights with us and how you are a driven person, this is great to hear. Great things come to those who are driven and help others too.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  7. Oh, I would have loved to be in your team! Leaders that can also be led are the best in my opinion, and I flatter myself by thinking I have been one of those as well.
    I remember when I just started out as a solo entrepreneur that a friend asked me what time I got up in the morning. It was around 7 back then and he was amazed that I never slept in. Where I was amazed that someone could think to perform well when he wouldn’t want to put in the effort. “)

    1. Hi Hannie,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found the article valuable.

      I really appreciate you sharing your experience as a leader, and it’s great to hear that you are a leader who can also be led. I would have had you in my team any day of the week.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  8. What a great article. Whilst reading through, I was reminded of experiences from my previous work. Like you mentioned, I encountered many times people who didn’t want to work and they were passing the whole work to newbies.
    It is extremely frustrating to work with people who are not driven, inspired and motivated. They are creating more work where is not necessary and they are de-motivating new people that join the company.
    I have also worked with managers that they were anything but a leader. Admiral Grace Murray Hopper described my favorite quote: ”You manage things; you lead people.”

    Thank you for this great reminder and keep up the amazing work.

    Kind regards,,
    Yoana

    1. Hi Yoana,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found the article valuable.

      I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us, and I understand your frustrations of working with people who have no drive or passion for what they are doing. It makes you wonder “why are they here in the first place?” But obviously the reason is to get paid, and that is the sole reason. Which again is frustrating.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

    1. Hi Brianna,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really happy that you have learned a lot about yourself, that is so inspiring.

      It is my pleasure to share. Please do return, engage and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  9. The ‘drive’ is something that is required to move forward. I have to be wanting it enough to achieve it and this has always been the case for me. If I really wanted something I did get/achieve it no matter how hard or complicated it was. I am so grateful to have come across people in my teams over the years who were also well driven, which ultimately kept me going too.

    Thank you for sharing these valuable information

  10. In my own person experience most people lack the drive to be a highly effective leader. More and more people seem to get lazy and wait on everyone else to do something for them. I personally have encountered this and then too have given up because I get tired of carrying all the weight by myself. The world needs more self motivated people to better a situation not just wait around on everyone else. More motivation means more productivity from all and keeps everyone feeling the same burden, not just one person. I think I need to share this article with a few people. Thank you.

    1. Hi Cheyenne,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you found the article valuable.

      I completely agree with you, the world needs more self motivated, driven people to improve situations. Please do share this article with as many people as you can.

      Thank you so much.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  11. Hi Tom ,i totally agree with you ,some people just spends days at work without doing something for the day because they don’t care ,they are just there to make their hours .It is very sad .I wish the world had more and more driven leaders who are willing to share what they know with their team to teach them .Nowadays ,there are also fake leaders who hide what they know because they think that if they teach the team what they know ,someone in the team is going to apply for the team leader position and get them replaced or fired .Anyway ,thank you for sharing this with me Tom .

    1. Hi JK,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you found the article valuable.

      I too really want the world to have more driven, highly effective leaders. I agree with you that there are fake leaders who hide what they know, when actually they should be doing the exact opposite. It is a leader’s responsibility to share their knowledge with their people, so please do keep this up as you are already doing.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  12. Hi Tom

    You have stated three things that stand out for me.
    1. Drive comes from within
    2. Have a vision to work towards
    3. We all have the potential to succeed.

    Thanks a lot for this. I need to keep working on becoming effective. Your article is really beautiful and I have bookmarked it for future references of your articles.

    Regards
    Angee
    myfoodrelations.com

    1. Hi Angee,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you found this article valuable.

      I really appreciate you sharing your key takeaways and I hope you work on the three things you have discussed.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

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