What Motivates You?

By: John Regan

In 2016, I was faced with a major decision, a crossroads. Either continue in the L. Keeley Construction Heavy Civil group as a Senior Project Manager or follow my true passion: focus on helping others achieve professional growth and development. This career decision would require me to make several big changes and take major risks.

As I talked with those around me about what they take into consideration when making major decisions like this one, everyone had different factors they keyed in on. Some were concerned about earning potential, others about personal happiness and fulfillment, others about potential for advancement and still others about making a difference in people’s lives. I received as many different pieces of advice and perspectives as the different people I talked to. Everyone had a distinct conclusion on whether the risks were worth it.

The reason for this is simple: motivation. Specifically, what motivates each of us as individuals.

What Motivates You?

  • Knowledge – the discovery of truth

  • Utility – an interest in money and useful application to life

  • Individualism – the acquiring of power

  • Social Relationships – the inherent love of being around people

  • Tradition – creating unity, order, or systems of living

  • Aesthetics – the form and harmony of life, it’s beauty, grace, and symmetry

  • Something else

The advice I received was unique for each person considering my situation. This is because everything we do is affected by our motivators, whether consciously or subconsciously.

The point is, discover what motivates you and make choices to bring you toward those goals. Creating a strategy, then developing action plans as your next steps is how to discover what motivates you. Be willing to experiment. Often you won’t get it right the first time, you must work to find what truly motivates you. If we miss determining our motivators and don’t make choices based on what we truly want, we will make decisions that we aren’t truly happy with. That is a tragedy waiting to happen and will have you living out someone else’s idea of your life.

Spend some time to today thinking about what motivates you and learn to recognize the motivators of those around you.

In the end, my decision was to use my time and talents to bring practical people, project management and field operations skills to field team members, management, presidents, CEOs, and owners for career growth, development, and coaching that takes their skills and organizations to the next level.

At Keeley Companies, I’m proud of our world-class professional development division, KeeleyU! We promote the career growth of all team members through various internal and external learning opportunities. As the VP of Learning and Professional Development, they even call me “The Professor,” a name I try every day to live up to because in the end; my motivation is to challenge and equip people to unleash their potential. My passion is using knowledge to develop people and help them impact organizations and make a difference in the world.

So, is it worth the risk? That all depends… what motivates you?

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