Why Motivating People Doesn't Work . . . and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging
Top leadership researcher, consultant, and coach Susan Fowler says stop trying to motivate people! It's frustrating for everyone involved and it just doesn't work. You can't motivate people—they are already motivated but generally in superficial and short-term ways. In this book, Fowler builds upon the latest scientific research on the nature of human motivation to lay out a tested model and course of action that will help leaders guide their people toward the kind of motivation that not only increases productivity and engagement but that gives them a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Fowler argues that leaders still depend on traditional carrot-and-stick techniques because they haven't understood their alternatives and don't know what skills are necessary to apply the new science of motivation. Her Optimal Motivation process shows leaders how to move people away from dependence on external rewards and help them discover how their jobs can meet the deeper psychological needs—for autonomy, relatedness, and competence—that science tells us result in meaningful and sustainable motivation.
Optimal Motivation has been proven in organizations all over the world—Fowler's clients include Microsoft, CVS, NASA, the Catholic Leadership Institute, H&R Block, Mattel, and dozens more. Throughout the book, she illustrates how each step of the process works using real-life examples. Susan Fowler 's book is the groundbreaking answer for leaders who want to get motivation right!
Mark had a lot of heads (mostly men’s) nodding in the room. I asked him how he handled the situation. He said, “Oh, I go along with it.” I asked him why. He replied, “Because I am afraid of what might happen the rest of the year if I didn’t.” We laughed, but it was a telling comment. Mark was motivated to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but remember, a person is always motivated. The real issue was why he was motivated. It was obvious that the issue was negatively affecting his energy. Mark was
influence the way people are motivated. Over Phil’s years of experience, it became clear to him that the levers for motivation were different than many coaches assumed. In his book Eleven Rings, he reveals there are two kinds of coaches: those who lead teams to victory and those who drive them. After being coached by and coaching with ego-driven coaches who think driving people to excellence works, Phil seems to have opted for the former approach.1 The antithesis of driving for results is
work. Billy was motivated. He was just motivated differently than one might expect. He was not motivated by money, fame, or notoriety but by his love of and dedication to his family and the game of baseball. Trying to motivate Billy didn’t work because he was already motivated. People are always motivated. The question is not if a person is motivated but why. The motivation dilemma is that leaders are being held accountable to do something they cannot do—motivate others. I was sharing these
Psychology 27 (2012): 437–450. Hagger, Martin S., Nikos L. D. Chatzisarantis, and Jemma Harris. “From Psychological Need Satisfaction to Intentional Behavior: Testing a Motivational Sequence in Two Behavioral Contexts.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 32, no. 2 (February 2006): 131–148. Hitlin, Steven, and Jane A. Piliavin. “Values: Reviving a Dormant Concept.” Annual Review of Sociology 30 (2004): 359–393. Howe, Neil, and William Strauss. Generations: The History of America’s
how different the experience was from previous award trips: “The week took on special significance as a heartfelt thank-you from my manager and a wonderful memory-making experience with my child.” Kacey’s deepened relationship with her manager and feeling valued was far more rewarding than winning a contest. There are significant implications for the organization when people experience high-quality motivation. They achieve above-standard results; demonstrate enhanced creativity, collaboration,