Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Never Discount the Power of MOTIVATION

March 19, 2018

by Robert Stevenson

Recently, I heard a prominent speaker declare: “I think motivation is garbage.” She went on to say, “Motivation is never there when you need it. Ever, Ever, Ever!” She even said that we have all bought into this big lie that motivation really works. The speaker went on to explain her statement, but nothing she said changed my opinion of how TOTALLY wrong I think she is.

To me, she just said that every great teacher, coach, preacher, leader, military officer, and parent should just “SHUT UP” because nothing they are going to say will help to motivate us to doing better, stretching ourselves, pushing further, accomplishing things we didn’t believe we could do.

Sure, I have said in the past, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” But that doesn’t mean, someone can’t influence me to make me believe I can do it. Our first great motivators were our parents. They kept telling us we could do it, and we did; always giving us words of encouragement and praise. From there, the responsibility was transferred to teachers, coaches, and bosses, all helping us to accomplish more. Motivational words are designed to promote the desire or willingness to do or achieve something … and they can be spoken by anyone making anyone believe they can do it

Winston Churchill motivated a country to stand up against the tyranny of the Nazi’s in his famous “Blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech. He said: “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs – Victory in spite of all terrors – Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.” He inspired a nation to rise-up and fight Hitler. Patrick Henry inspired the American colonists to fight for liberty against insurmountable odds when he said: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Knute Rockne gave his "Win One for the Gipper" speech to the Notre Dame players at halftime of the 1928 Army game. To inspire the players, he told them the story of the tragic death during his senior season, of the greatest player ever at Notre Dame, George Gipp. It was on his hospital bed that George Gipp said this to Rockne: I've got to go, Rock. It's all right. I'm not afraid.” Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong, and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper.” When Rockne delivered those words, his eyes were misty and his voice unsteady. Silence feel over the locker room and then suddenly one of the players yells out, “Well, what are we waiting for?” With a single roar, the players rush through the doorway and rallied to defeat the previously undefeated Army team, 12-6.

I would love for anyone to tell Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, Nick Saban or General Douglas MacArthur that motivation is garbage. I am of the opinion they would all challenge that statement. I feel one of the greatest things we can do is instill the belief in someone that they CAN DO IT. The simple words of “I believe in you,” have pushed countless people to greatness.

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” Your words can change the outcome of a person’s future. You can give people hope … you can inspire, motivate, stimulate, encourage, boost others to greatness by the words you say. Never discount the power of MOTIVATION.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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