CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

BECOMING A LEADER OF OTHERS



Never struggle with Show-and-Tell again. Sign up and activate your free trial, Sign in as a subscriber to view the Character Motivation Thesaurus in its entirety, or visit the Table of Contents to explore unlocked entries.

START MY 2-WEEK FREE TRIAL

HELPFUL TIP:

To understand why your character is driven toward a certain goal, take time to understand their personality and moral compass using the positive and negative trait thesauri. Also, dig into their backstory to find an unresolved emotional wound. Past trauma is disruptive and can generate unmet needs that, if strong enough, will motivate your character to chase a specific goal to satisfy this need.
FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Becoming a mayor, senator, premier, president, or prime minister
Leading the charge for a social initiative, group, or organization
Taking the lead position of a non-profit organization
Being a CEO
Having a role of senior leadership within a company or corporation
Becoming a chief, elder, or member of a band council
Being an admiral, general, or other military official
Leading others in social change (arranging fundraisers, public awareness seminars, committees, demonstrations, public rallies, and events)
Leading a church or religion
Steering a monarchy
Heading an important committee or task force responsible for the welfare of others
Leading a cult or commune
Leading out of necessity (in emergency situations, in the aftermath of terrorism or a natural disaster, etc.)
Guiding one’s neighborhood or community to become stronger and more inclusive to all
Leading a minimized group to promote equity and awareness
Leading a club or group involved in a specific interest or activity
Leading a self-help group
Being the head of a school or educational center
Being the manager of an office or operator of a business
Leading an army or group to rebel against oppressors or flee to safety
Leading one’s peers (on a team, a committee, during an important task or mission, etc.)

HUMAN NEED DRIVING THE GOAL (INNER MOTIVATION):
There are five basic human needs that, when missing from a character's life, could motivate them to pursue this goal. The following needs are all possibilities, but only one of them should be the primary driver for any given character. For more information on the relationship between human needs and outer motivations, please see​ this ​Character Motivation tutorial.

Self-Actualization: A character who is passionate about a cause (the plight of a marginalized group, an animal species nearing extinction, big business harming the environment, etc.) may choose to lead the charge to right this wrong.
Esteem and Recognition: A character looking to prove something to himself or others may be driven to step into a leadership role, especially if current leadership is absent, corrupt, or ineffective.
Love and Belonging: A deep need to belong may drive a character to prove their dedication and worth by stepping into a leadership role, furthering the goals of the group (or family, society, club, criminal organization, etc.) they are trying to join.
Safety and Security: If strong leadership is needed to prevent danger or hardship, the character may assume the role to protect their own interests and to keep loved ones safe.
Physiological Needs: When the character's access to food, shelter, clean water, or another physical need is threatened, the character may choose to step into a leadership role to prevent this from continuing, especially if no one else is willing or capable of doing so.

HOW THE CHARACTER MAY PREPARE FOR THIS GOAL:
...

POSSIBLE SACRIFICES OR COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GOAL:
...

ROADBLOCKS WHICH COULD PREVENT THIS GOAL FROM BEING ACHIEVED:
...

TALENTS & SKILLS THAT WILL HELP THE CHARACTER ACHIEVE THIS GOAL:
...

WHAT'S AT STAKE IF THIS GOAL ISN'T MET?
...

CLICHÉS TO AVOID:
...