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  • Writer's pictureUlrika Gustafson PCC LL.M

Reigniting the Flame: A Guide for Leaders Facing a Lack of Motivation



In the demanding world of leadership, facing a lack of motivation is a challenge that many leaders encounter. Drawing from my perspective as an executive coach, working closely with leaders navigating this struggle, here's a guide to help leaders overcome the hurdle of diminished motivation:


1. Acknowledge and Accept


The first step in tackling lack of motivation is acknowledging it. Understand that occasional dips in motivation are natural and part of the leadership journey. Accepting this reality allows you to approach the situation with a constructive mindset.


2. Identify the Root Cause


Dig deep to identify the underlying causes of your lack of motivation. Is it burnout, unclear goals, or a need for new challenges? Pinpointing the root cause enables you to address the issue directly.


"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." – Oprah Winfrey

3. Set Clear and Achievable Goals


Reevaluate your goals and make sure they are clear, realistic, and aligned with your broader vision. Breaking down larger objectives into smaller, achievable milestones provides a sense of progress and can reignite motivation.


4. Rediscover Purpose


Reconnect with your sense of purpose as a leader. Reflect on the impact of your work and the positive changes you bring to your team and organization. Rediscovering purpose can be a powerful motivator.


5. Cultivate a Growth Mindset


Adopt a growth mindset that embraces challenges and views failures as opportunities for learning. This shift in perspective fosters resilience and encourages a proactive approach to overcoming obstacles.


6. Seek Inspiration


Draw inspiration from various sources, whether it's books, podcasts, mentorship, or conversations with peers. Exposing yourself to new ideas and perspectives can reignite passion and motivation for your leadership role.


7. Break the Routine


Monotony can lead to a lack of motivation. Break free from routine by introducing variety into your workday. This could involve trying new approaches, collaborating with different team members, or exploring innovative solutions to challenges.


8. Prioritize Self-Care


Leaders often neglect self-care, leading to burnout and diminished motivation. Prioritize your well-being by getting adequate rest, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. A healthy leader is a motivated leader.


9. Establish Accountability


Share your goals and struggles with a trusted colleague, mentor, or coach. Establishing accountability provides external support and encouragement, making it easier to stay on track and motivated.


10. Celebrate Achievements


Acknowledge and celebrate both small and significant achievements. Recognizing your progress, no matter how incremental, boosts morale and creates positive reinforcement, fostering a renewed sense of motivation.

11. Explore Professional Development


Consider engaging in professional development opportunities. Learning new skills or gaining fresh perspectives can invigorate your leadership journey, sparking motivation and a sense of purpose.


12. Reflect on Successes


Reflect on your past successes as a leader. Revisiting accomplishments reminds you of your capabilities and reinforces the positive impact you've had on your team and organization.

Navigating a lack of motivation is a shared experience among leaders. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively overcome this hurdle, reignite your passion for leadership, and continue to inspire and drive success within your team and organization.



Ulrika Gustafson LL.M PCC is a partner of HAMILTON THERRELL Executive Advisors, an international advisory group of experts in leadership and organizational transformation. She advises CEOs and coaches senior executives on succeeding in demanding environments.

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