What’s My Motivation? Find it on Your Motivational Map and Learn To Inspire
  • Motivational maps show you how to motivate yourself and others.
  • There are 9 motivators that influence you to different degrees.
  • Learn your motivators below.
  • Figure out those of team members to get the best out of them.

“What’s my motivation?”

A question so old and worn in acting and performance circles, it’s an archaic cliché. But it’s still a great question to ask at any time. Why am I in this position? Why am I saying these lines? Hell, why am I on this pathway I chose in life and how am I going to get inspired to go further?

Admittedly, the actor who utters the question rarely has such philosophical queries in mind … but they should.

Ask ‘What motivates me? Am I unleashing my creative spirit? Am I the star of my own ongoing, multi-year production? Am I building something that I can one day be proud of?’

If you really want to get deep, perhaps a better question would be “Where’s my motivation?”

Why? Because motivation is a rare and enigmatic resource you must find in yourself, those you work with and those you lead. There’s no place you can be certain to get it from and no traditional maps will tell you where to find it. A motivational map will help though, and we’re going to show you how to create and read your own in this and the follow-up blog.

Motivators and Profiles – The Key to Motivational Maps

Like all good cartographers and map readers, we’ll start with the key that makes sense of everything. That’s the nine motivators that drive all people to a greater or lesser degree. Most of us have one prime motivator that defines our profiles more than most, but this is mixed with others that contribute, too.

Mapping out your motivators, outlined below, and figuring out how to nurture them will help you succeed in your career and life immensely. Moreover, if you’re a director, producer or manager who leads others, mapping out their motivations will help you to inspire your team easily. This will allow projects and productions to achieve success with morale soaring throughout.

Which motivators influence you?


The searcher wants to make a difference

To be fully motivated, the Searcher needs to know their work has a meaning. It is not sufficient for a Searcher to complete a task in isolation, it needs to be for a greater cause. They are not carrying lights or delivering a line, but working with a team to bring Shakespeare to life.

To motivate the Searcher, give regular feedback about how the particular element of work they undertake interacts with everything else, and how the overall project benefits.


The Builder wants to build something and earn from it.

The Builder is motivated by seeing a material result from their efforts. Linking a financial bonus or other material reward to the targets set for a person with a strong Builder motivator will inspire them to achieve it. Builders are more motivated by jobs with an actual, visible outcome than conceptual ones. This can relate to the job itself, as in building, or the reward attached.


The Friend wants to engage with others.

Interacting with people, building relationships and working together with others is what the Friend motivator needs. They will feel comfortable and included working in a group that gels. Working with others and developing and maintaining relationships is very important to them. Working alone or in opposition to other people must be avoided.


The Creator wants to innovate.

The Creator is motivated by being able to exercise their ingenuity, solve problems and develop new ideas and ways to do things. If you need to come up with a new idea, improve a particular process or create something original, from a prop to a whole show, the Creator is the one you want. A Creator will be very comfortable undertaking artistic and innovative jobs, as well as identifying changes to be made and novel ways to do things.


The Expert wants mastery.

In Iris, Dame Judi Dench told us “Education may be the means by which we realize we are happy.” That’s certainly true for the Expert. Training and development of understanding are key to satisfying this motivator. The Expert likes to know that learning is part of their role. They will take any opportunity to access training and learn from mentors. Don’t ask the expert to simply do a job, ask them to learn it, understand it and perfect it.


The Star wants public recognition.

As with the director, the role of Star and its synonymous motivator are closely related, but separate.

For the Star to shine, they must be seen. The Star motivator looks for public recognition, applause and awards, not to mention a spotlight, if one is around. The Star relishes prominent roles where they can be seen by others. They are inspired to take a major role not just in productions, but in all groups, down to meetings and social groups. The star needs to know that others acknowledge their achievements. If your star isn’t actually THE star of the show, remember to compliment them publicly on their successes.


The Spirit wants to be free.

The Spirit is motivated by being able to control their own actions and outcomes free of manipulation. Times, places and methods of working should be left to the Spirit to decide. In order to get the best from the Spirit, set them clear objectives and allow them to succeed in their own way.


The Director wants responsibility.

We’re talking about the motivator, not the person the whole cast is terrified of. That said, people in the role of Director will usually be strongly influenced by the motivator that shares the name. This motivator is best satisfied when the person in question is given unmitigated control over a project. Having power, influencing how a task is done by others and overseeing the organisation of work is what enthuses the Director.


The Defender wants security.

A predictable, secure future is important to the Defender. Structure, protocol and attention to detail all reinforce this. The Defender should be made aware of the long‑term stability of the production and the business and how her actions will help to maintain it. Keep the defender on task by making their role a steady one and minimising risk factors.

Learn to motivate anyone by mapping out their motivators

When you’ve mapped out which of these motivators influence a person, you can motivate them easily and avoid damaging their morale by accident. Simply learn which of the nine influence the person, and which don’t and you can get much more out of them … And always begin with yourself

More on how to do this in part two, coming soon… (Yes, we love a good cliff-hanger) – [Just to engage all the Experts out there!] ed.