Monday, May 16, 2011

Leading & Motivating

May 2011

Motivation is the desire to do. It is an interest or drive to stimulate action.

Homer Rice once said, "You can motivate by fear. And you can motivate by reward. But both of these methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation."

As a leader, what is your most common form of motivation? Do you use fear? The fear method usually relies on the rules. Do you use the carrot principle? Do you dangle rewards out in front of others and hope that they'll bite?

There are many tips and techniques out there to enhance these types of motivational styles... or as those being 'motivated' tend to refer to them... manipulation styles.

As I've mentioned previously, Daniel Pink authored a book last year called "Drive - The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us". He discusses different types of motivation that align perfectly with the 3 classes of axiological value that I often discuss.  Those classes of value are, in order of their objective value:

Highest in value
Mid range of value
Lowest in value

Mr. Pink discusses what he calls "Motivation 1.0". This is the old command and control.  This type of motivation is old school... So old school that it was around before there were schools. Under Motivation 1.0 (systemic motivation), mankind was trying to survive. Systemic deals with either/or... either you survived or you didn't. The leaders were those who survived. They were the strongest and used their power to command and order the others to work together to survive.

As we formed more complex societies and evolved, so did our motivation. We now needed to cooperate with one another to get the things we needed. At the core of this new and improved form of motivation was a revised and more accurate assumption: "Humans are more than the sum of our biological urges.  Now the first drive to survive still exists, but it didn't fully account for who we were." We knew how to survive and it didn't consume all of our time. We now wanted more (extrinsic stuff) than just survival.

Motivation 2.0 (extrinsic motivation) was born.