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Personal Growth

“Free Pizza” & Other Ways to Motivate

John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design, shares leadership lessons and ways to motivate people. Offering students free pizza, for instance, works wonders.

What’s the Latest Development?

John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design, shares leadership lessons from his time there in his book (with co-author Becky Bermont) “Redesigning Leadership”. For instance, getting people to work well together can be hard but getting them to eat together is much easier. He found that the words ‘free pizza’ were a powerful motivator to convene large groups of students. “A meal is often a catalyst for a conversation that can lead to a collaboration, and a meal is a natural happening to signify closure when the collaboration has been completed.”

What’s the Big Idea?

When forming teams, the most basic challenge is getting people to “take the big step away from just being themselves (the thing we all know best) and joining something larger (the thing we fear may let us down).”


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