Navigate your way to credit success

I hear you! Not another blog on New Year’s resolutions and goal setting. Well…yes, no, sort of.

Personally, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions and just as well. Research over the years has ​shown that on average, less than 10% of people succeed in reaching their New Year’s resolutions. The remaining 90% of people who fail, do so within an average of 90 days. If you fall in the 90% bracket then, well, you’re one third of the way through to disappointment. Not a great way to kick off 2018 Quarter 1.

Though this time of year is perfect for reflecting on recent achievements. It is a great time to start thinking about setting yourself a new focus for credit success in 2018.

Consider credit skills you’re already good at, and whether you can expand on these to gain a broader perspective. Or an area within credit you’ve not been exposed to and really want to learn more about.

Now is a good time to set goals to help you grow and develop your personal and professional potential in Credit Leadership.

For some of us, setting goals can be dull and boring, plus on its own are not enough to create a lasting change.


I’m sure you already know about smart goals, and that success is possible more so, if your intrinsic motivation is aligned with your goal.

When I say intrinsic motivation, I mean that your pumped to go! because your energy levels are fueled by your passion to reach that goal. You’re like, Yeah! Let’s do this!

How many of you feel passionate and motivated in your current workplace environment? Well before you answer that, let me explain about motivation.


What is motivation?

According to the NBA (Neurocognitive and Behavioural Approach), the heart of our motivations is located within the neo-limbic area of our brain.

The neocortex and Limbic area, stores everything we have ever learned and experienced from birth.

gps brain


Here resides the core of our emotions, values, beliefs, conditioning, likes/dislikes, and motivations.


The neo-limbic brain is extremely efficient in running day to day life on auto pilot. It records experiences and then creates automatic Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on how to respond the next time you experience a similar situation.

Since this happens subconsciously, self-awareness and reflection are great tools for personal growth and development in questioning whether a particular SOP (belief) still holds true for you. But I digress.

In a nutshell, motivation can be generalised as goal-directed behaviour. For smart goals to work, we first need to engage both our intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. This is such a hot leadership topic at the moment. One might say that motivation forms the basis of employee engagement, and if you don’t know what motivates your employee (and it’s almost never about the money!) then do read on.


Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations

Our motivations consist of intrinsic and extrinsic layers. Let’s look at the key differences between these layers, to help us understand what drives our behaviour on a personal and professional level.

21531124Intrinsic or primary motivations– doing something you love without expecting something in return, an inner desire driven by passion. These types of motivations are sustainable.

  1. Fixed for life
  2. Gives you energy
  3. No need for results

Shaped early on in life, these motivations are in part a blend of our genetic portrait and environmental influence and firmly anchored in our personality. Social expectations, logic and reasoning have no part in determining whether this makes you feel passionate about something or not. It just does!

​If you are finding yourself drawn to further explore your credit knowledge, or have a desire to manage a credit team for the sake of bringing growth and development to the team and organisation, you are exhibiting some characteristics of primary motivations.

extrinsicExtrinsic or secondary motivations– doing something others expect from you with a specific outcome that yields reward or punishment. These types of motivations are unstable and not sustainable, generally lasting three to six months.

  1. Can change
  2. Costs you energy
  3. A need for results

It is easy to see that the majority of people in the workplace are extrinsically motivated. This is because KPIs are cascaded from the top down, and the credit department (like any department) is responsible for goals set by someone higher up.

This is exactly the reason why credit managers, who take the time and effort to develop their credit staff with a personal development plan and an agreed performance outcome, have a stronger performing and more sustainable team.

A classic example of a secondary motivation is when an employee is threatening to leave, and the employer increases their salary in order to have them stay. It never works for long, if it works at all. Remember, this is an extrinsic motivation and will only last three to six months.


Motivational Goals

Being both human and credit professionals, means we are constantly subjected to a mixture of personal and professional drivers of motivation.

I believe motivation and engagement is a two-way street. Being human, means we have the opportunity to balance what we do for mutual success. It is a mutual responsibility.

Casual team meeting in open office discussing business

As a credit professional, being aware of your motivations and responsibilities can bring a balanced approach to your career progression.

As a credit manager, your ability to connect your employee’s intrinsic motivations to align with your department’s KPIs (which are extrinsic motivators) creates a foundation for sustainable growth and engagement.

So let me ask again, how many of you feel passionate and motivated in your current workplace environment?

For some inspiration in helping you find an answer to this question, you can download our Goal-Plan-Success lite workbook. It’s free, relevant, and will absolutely help you grow and develop your credit potential! You owe it to yourself to make personal growth your #1 priority in Credit Management.

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