How to Crush Your Team Deadlines

by | Sep 15, 2023 | Blog

Deadlines are a fact of life, but time management alone won’t resolve your or your team’s ability to get things done.

Here’s an example. Have you ever stopped yourself in the middle of a task and asked: ‘Why am I doing this?’ The most common answer is, ‘Because I have to.’

We all have to do things we don’t really want to do, but did you ever notice that some tasks that drain your energy actually fire other people up?

Same task. Same deadline. Same resources to get it done. But if that task is an energy suck for you, it seems to take FOR-EV-ER. And the results just never feel good enough.

Give that task to someone who gets fired up when they do it, and they fly through it with ease. And they’re incredibly pleased with the outcome.

What’s behind that disconnect?

It has to do with what you value. What motivates you.

Values and Motivators

We all get excited by different things. For some, feeling harmony and balance while working on a project is what lights their fire. Others gain a great sense of accomplishment when they can compete for rewards. Still others don’t care about the rewards so much as they want to do things in their own unique way.

We’ve identified 7 categories of values that drive our efforts. They are:

  • Aesthetic
  • Economic
  • Individualistic
  • Political
  • Altruistic
  • Regulatory
  • Theoretical

Let’s assign the same task to individuals motivated by each dimension and explore the different ways it might make them feel, how quickly or slowly they might approach it, and what it may do to their energy.

The Task: Contact a list of 50 current clients to inform them of a new product release, which will increase their monthly fee by 10%. Reps receive a bonus for every client who signs up.

The Aesthetically driven will want to get to the bottom of that list ensuring that every client has the same information and can make an informed decision about whether or not they need the new release. The bonus would be nice but it’s more important that the new release info is given equally to everyone.

  • Motivation: Measured, identical conversations sharing the same information with each client.
  • Speed: 30 mph – The conversations go at a slow and steady pace. It’s critical everyone receives the same information in the same way.
  • Energy level: Minimize energy suck by allowing them to set the pace.

Those possessing a high Economic drive will be all about the results. That bonus is the thing that makes this task most attractive. Contacting the clients is just the means to the end.

  • Motivation: The bonus potential, plain and simple.
  • Speed: 90 mph – Let’s GOOOOO! The sooner they get to the bottom of the list, the sooner they’ll know how much of a bonus they can get. (And the plan to spend that bonus is already in place.)
  • Energy level: – High! That bonus is a huge driver.

Try to give the Individualists in the group a script to follow to have those conversations and they’ll struggle to stay on task. They’ll be fine presenting the new product but want to talk about it in their own unique way.

  • Motivation: They’ll buy in to the task if you allow them freedom to stray from the script.
  • Speed: Depends. Force script-following and it will be a slow slog at 10 mph. Allow them some freedom and their pace will quicken.
  • Energy level: – Minimize energy suck by letting them use their own words.

Your Politically motivated folks will enjoy the task because they get to be seen as experts imparting new wisdom. They like to exhibit their influence over clients.

  • Motivation: They are driven to be leaders and get excited when they can compete with the rest of the team.
  • Speed: Also 90 mph – as long as they can win.
  • Energy level: High since they have the ability to exert influence.

You’ll want to spend some time explaining all of the benefits the clients can expect with the Altruists in the room. What’s in it for the clients? Who will benefit and how?

  • Motivation: The benefits to the clients will help them sell the new product.
  • Speed: 60 mph – They’ll need to feel they are allowing the clients plenty of time to ask questions and feel confident they are making the right decision.
  • Energy level: Minimize energy suck by giving them enough details to increase their confidence in the new product and help them believe in the benefits.

Regulatory team members will need to know all the steps of the process you want them to follow. Checking off the boxes at each milestone is a key motivator so they can feel accomplished.

  • Motivation: Following a set process is how you get the best results.
  • Speed: 10 mph – Given their preference for detail orientation, the result isn’t as important to them as the effective completion of the steps to get there.
  • Energy level: Minimize energy suck by allowing them to take their time. Force them to rush and they’ll have a rough time getting to the bottom of the list.

Your high Theoreticals will also need a little extra time. They’ll desire to have all of the research and details about the new release so they can feel educated before they start sharing it with clients.

  • Motivation: Knowledge is power, and to feel powerful they need details.
  • Speed: 60 mpg – After they feel confident in their product, they’ll move right along.
  • Energy level: Since they like to take their time sharing their new knowledge, minimize their energy suck by allowing some extra time.

Being aware of what motivates the members of your team allows you to make some decisions about who you may need to do what.

Delegate Based on Motivators

Allow your team’s motivators to guide how you assign tasks. If your turnaround time for a project is rather fast and rewards-based, tap into your higher Economics and Politicals. If you have a more flexible timeline, you can take the time to share more details, create solid processes, and allow your higher Regulatory and Theoreticals to tailor their approach as they wish.

What you’re trying to do here is give people a chance to shift their perspective from:

  • I have to…
  • I must…
  • I should…


  • I choose to…
  • I can…
  • I will…

The simple shift in perspective changes a time suck into a time expansion and you can feel the energy of your team transform.


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