I have worked with 8-10 different companies with different cultures,
different products and verticals over the last decade and a half
As a result, I have worked with team members showing a combination of
motivation, passion, smartness, brightness, ambition, potential,
leadership, following, communication, and the lack thereof
Allegory training and their case study of Blockbuster
Quoting David Ting – Everyone is a leader
In the new age of Internet and Media, its all the more critical that we all
start to see ourselves and everyone around us as motivated, passionate
There is no next level when there is no motivation to get there
Why am I talking about
No longer something that matters during review cycles
Motivated co-workers create a great work environment
Motivation nurtures leadership
In a small org, successes and failures get amplified.
Motivation largely increases the changes for success.
Motivation encourages communication, which in turn
creates a thriving, innovation and growth-driven culture.
As mortal humans, we are all
…with unique motivators
Paycheck, or a
Getting someone off
Sense of achievement
Bragging rights or
Solving problems, or
Chasing a dream,
What motivates them?
I want to put a ding in
I want to put PCs in
I want to shape the way
people interact and
connect with others
Google (the founders but
the company too)
WE want to make the
Everest, K2 Climbers
The drive to be on the
top of the world; which
costs them their life
savings, knowing very
well that 2 out of 5 die
Simple, we’ve been used to this one ever since we were kids, and we
use it with our kids.
Reward good behavior with tangible goods
Punish bad behavior by taking them away
So the motivation factor is to stay out of trouble, and do a good job
expecting more money, bigger house, fatter bonus, good grades.
You do not need an MBA to extrinsically motivate people.
Most extrinsically motivated people are followers, rarely leaders.
Extrinsic motivation plateaus, and needs to be re-enforced time and
Extrinsic motivation works best for manual, mechanical work. Not
where cognitive or out-of-the-box intelligence, and creativity is
needed, i.e. knowledge work.
Almost opposite of Extrinsic motivation
Comes from within (duh!)
Very circumstantial, and cannot be directly enforced but coached
Most of what promotes intrinsic motivation is abstract, and cannot
be pegged to a dollar value.
I want to write perfect code
I want to learn a new language
I want to solve problem X to make Y’s life easier
I want to be looked upon as the brightest bulb in the box
Intrinsic motivation is almost always a necessary trait in a leader.
The motivator is “purpose”
Clarity and communication on:
What is one’s purpose in the organization
What is the organization’s purpose in the company
What is the company’s purpose in the world
Being a part of the greater picture
Having independence, or “autonomy” (like hack events)
Encourages ownership and value
Encourages responsibility and accountability
Autonomy and Mastery
Go hand in hand with the purpose
The focus is on achieving the purpose through
developing mastery autonomously – i.e., you are
empowered to make decisions and have enough
autonomy to do so.
You build significant skills in that area
The mastery and autonomy act as a means to the
Org Culture and Motivation
Varying degree of these traits in an org impact the
motivation in the individual at different levels
Ease (or difficulty) of getting things done.
Recognition and visibility
Co-workers and their motivation
Nature and kind of work (tedious vs. challenging)
Opportunities for growth, and their communication
Individual Engagement and autonomy
Compensation (with fair contribution parity)
Alignment and focus towards a common goal
Being taught by unmotivated teachers
Kids or Elderly being cared by unmotivated
Having a terminal illness being treated by
City being patrolled by unmotivated cops
Browsing around an online shopping site, whose
U|X sucks as it was developed by unmotivated
Be in a room full of folks where a few motivated folks
are talking about their work and/or life with a big grin
on their face
Google or Facebook going down in non-business
hours (hey, they are free!)
It cant be that bad!
Unmotivated folks pose an immediate risk to an org or a
Conflicts with the motivated folks due to impedance
Lower the bar and quality of the overall result
Lack of leadership
Its infectious – the motivated folks run a risk of giving up
after being burnt out
The org runs the risk of being at a “status-quo” with no
Leadership-by-example fails to exist
What makes knowledge
Like it or not, web never sleeps
Tech motivators usually are not the same as, say, motivators
for a Walmart Shift Manager, or an in-house Accounting
Granted that we are not saving lives, but are committed to
provide a good, efficient, “purposeful” service, 24x7
Technology competition is much, much closer than the one for
the Target, PG&E and Goldman Sachs of the World
The rate of innovation and execution is too high for
unmotivated technologists to keep up
How to improve motivation
Find out what factors motivate
you under what circumstances
Talk to your manager, or peers
on this topic. Communication is
the only thing that can change
or address motivation.
NOTHING ELSE CAN.
Make this a part of 1:1
Think of being motivated as a
non-negotiable attribute. Do
justice to your work, your coworkers, and your users.
A team is only as strong as the
weakest link, and often the
weakest link is unmotivated,
Realistic, performance driven
rewards, like the Next-level
pay. Similarly, myVoice, which
is a transparent medium for
Keep motivation on the back of your mind always
Be a leader – and lead by Example
Leadership does not come from a title, it comes from demonstrating the
Read “Drive” by Dan Pink, or watch the youtube video for his TED talk
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