Are You’re a Chief Inspiration Officer? Why Motivation Matters to Your Career

Are You’re a Chief Inspiration Officer? Why Motivation Matters to Your Career

March 26, 2014

Allison Beadle, MS, RD, LD

RDBA Weekly, Editor

As dietitians, it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending process of food and nutrition knowledge-building.  I mean, can we ever really compare and analyze enough nutrition labels, read enough research studies, or examine enough trends? While amassing this knowledge (and knowing what to do with it) is foundational to success in food-focused careers—especially retail—it’s not necessarily what’s going to advance your career and get you to the top. 

A recent survey from top global executive search firm, IIC partners, found that the number one skill sought in senior executives is the ability to motivate and lead others. This survey of 1270 business leaders from around the world went on to say that “68 percent of top leaders…preferred a senior executive who could motivate and inspire others more than they desired an executive who consistently performed well.”

What does this mean for retail dietitians who are eyeing career advancement opportunities? Honing your ability to inspire and motivate others—your coworkers, your team, your supervisors—is key to readying yourself for leadership positions.

How can you put on your Chief Inspiration Officer hat?

  • Have a Vision. You must have a clear grasp of the big picture—where are you taking people? What is the story of your health and wellness vision for your retailer or your store?
  • Light Your Fire. Without question, in order to inspire others, you must be inspired.  Your passion and enthusiasm for the vision will fuel others.  Share this with everyone you encounter—whether they are directly involved with your initiatives or not. 
  • Help Others Find Meaning. Turn your attention inside out—focus on those around you, helping them understand the value of their work and how it connects to the bigger vision for health and wellness.  You often need to point out what others are doing that connects to the bigger picture.
  • Keep The Course.  Continually remind those around you of the course of action and anticipate their needs to ensure they have the resources required to contribute.  Ask what you can do to help them connect and contribute to the health and wellness vision.   

I write and talk a lot about “thinking outside the dietitian box,” and building your motivational skills is a prime example.  Retail dietitians must go beyond the core of food and nutrition expertise in order to expand their influencer and position themselves for bold opportunities.