Motivation is Not the Responsibility of Leadership

If I actually have to motivate you then perhaps actually I am discounting what you really are as a person.  I’m saying you’re a lump that needs to be motivated.

Let me share with you something about engagement and motivation.  Our leaders didn’t spend time trying to motivate people.  This morning did somebody need to come into your room when your alarm went off and motivate you to get up and do something interesting today? 


If I actually have to motivate you then perhaps actually I am discounting what you really are as a person.  I’m saying you’re a lump that needs to be motivated.

What our leaders do is they say no, I need to get self-motivated people and get those people on my bus and then lead in such a way that doesn’t demotivate already-motivated great people.  And so the challenge isn’t "How do we motivate unmotivated people?" It’s "How do we lead in such a way as to not demotivate people?"  

And one way to demotivate otherwise motivated people is to have them put their hearts and their souls and their hours into trying to make something the best it can be and you never say thank you.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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