Drive. It’s a quality we all need and a characteristic we look for when hiring new employees, considering who to promote and identifying leaders within the bank. Yet, it’s often elusive.

Drive is the force that compels us to achieve goals, a feeling that goes beyond punching the clock or working for a paycheck. It’s easily confused with motivation, but it differs significantly. Motivation is what ignites us. Drive is what propels us forward.

How do you know if you have drive? That’s easy. You’re not going through the motions every day at work. You see a desirable outcome and push through to achieve it. You take on a new challenge because it gives you a sense of personal and professional satisfaction, not because you’ve been asked to do it or required to do it. It’s something that kicks in whether you are being watched or not.

Is it possible to lose your drive? Definitely. But it’s also possible to find it again. Here are a few ways you can develop drive in yourself and your team.

  1. Understand what motivates you. What gives you a sense of purpose? What does success mean to you? Ask these questions of yourself regularly and ask your team to do the same.

  2. Understand your bank’s mission. What is meaningful to the bank collectively? Keep that vision front and center, exploring ways to focus on it that are enriching for the community, the team and you personally. Mix things up on a regular basis with different projects and events.

  3. Remove distractions. Drive can come to a screeching halt when you are distracted. This doesn’t mean you completely ignore the distractions. Instead, “park” them until you can return to them at a more suitable time.

  4. Encourage a growth mindset by taking on challenges. Set a team challenge that’s exciting, achievable and engaging for everyone, whether it’s launching a new product earlier than planned, reaching a new account target, holding a fundraiser for a favorite local charity or even setting a team fitness goal.

  5. Build a culture that allows everyone to take reasonable risks. Fear of failure is one of the biggest impediments to drive. Remove the stigma of failure by admitting to failings, learning from them and being open to constructive criticism. 

  6. Choose learning whenever there is an opportunity. There is always something new to learn, for yourself and for everyone on your team.

Many external factors—stress, burnout, health issues and more—can affect a person’s drive. Don’t be discouraged. Stay inspired by reflecting on times during your career when you have achieved success, and always remember to celebrate the small wins as you work toward your goals.