How to Motivate Other People

How to Motivate Other People

No matter what your full-time job or role in life, most of us are part-time motivators. We not only have to motivate ourselves, but others as well. We need colleagues to complete tasks, partners to do their share, and children to become self-sufficient and responsible. If it weren’t hard enough to motivate ourselves when tired or bored, it’s even harder to persuade others into action. Motivating others is even more challenging when tasks are difficult, unclear, or distant from any immediate reward. In spite of all that’s known about motivation, we continue to misunderstand it and fail to make good use of its true nature. We make assumptions about what drives people, grossly over-estimating the value of external rewards and under-estimating the power of simple appreciation and recognition. The Search for Meaning Motivating others can’t be reduced to a formula or list of steps to check off. That’s unfortunate for managers, team leaders, and parents. Yet everyone can do a better job of getting others to participate in needed tasks. “It’s about connecting more deeply to what we do, to the outcome of our efforts, to others, and to our relationships.” Dan Ariely, Payoff: The Hidden Logic that Shapes Our Motivations, Simon & Schuster/TED, 2016. Motivation drives us to achieve tasks that are difficult, challenging, and painful. We use motivation when there’s something that must be done to achieve a larger goal. When we are motivated, we will do things without joy and under unpleasant conditions. This is because the things that give a sense of meaning to life aren’t always the things that make us happy. Humans care...
Finding Future Leaders: Why Personality Matters

Finding Future Leaders: Why Personality Matters

Given the financial and societal impact of global business, there’s an urgent need to understand leaders’ personalities. If we fail to appreciate how personality influences strategic decisions, we risk selecting leaders who are incapable of setting an organization’s direction. We are in the midst of great social, economic, scientific and political change. Intelligent approaches count more than ever if we’re to build sustainable results in rapidly changing, complex markets. The way we choose strategic plans is influenced by leaders’ personality, priorities and worldview. Today’s leaders must excel at managing globalization’s systemic challenges. There’s no such thing as economic or political insularity. Every society’s problems affect the international community. There’s no going back. Business cannot return to the leadership that was effective decades ago. If we’re to move forward, leaders must strive for economic success and the well-being of workers, customers and the environment. Across the globe there’s growing political unrest, terrorism, climate change, economic disparities among nations and health-care needs for an aging population. If these issues aren’t sufficiently daunting, companies are dealing with continuous invention and experimentation. There’s a technology surplus today; we have invented much more than practical applications require. The next 20 years will see radical advances in nanotechnology, genomics and gene therapy, robotics, artificial intelligence, bioscience, bioengineered agriculture, environmental and energy research, and medicine. Will our organizations’ leaders rise to meet the challenges? For progress to occur in nondestructive ways, we need strong, visionary leaders who can unleash the power of emerging technologies and manage global diversity for the benefit of the common good. But the way we’ve chosen leaders over the last 50 years...