Brilliant Manoeuvre
True motivation and discipline come from within. Individuals perform at the their best when they are impelled to do so from within. External rewards and punishments only go so far in influencing behaviour.

When I was in the military I noted that perks and improvements in creature comforts tended to become seen as acquired rights rather than what they were intended as: rewards for a job well done. In the early 2000s, the Canadian military went through a number of significant pay and benefit increases. However, it would never take more than a few short months before we would start to forget the improved benefits. In early 2003 I was on a deployment to a camp in the Persian Gulf that had the best creature comforts and amenities that I had ever experienced on a military operation. It also had the worst morale and mood I’ve ever encountered in my 26 years in the Army. The lesson is that strong extrinsic motivators do not guarantee that you’ll have strong morale and a sense of purpose to bind and unify troops into a higher calling.

Strong morale is built upon unity of purpose and action, determination to succeed, and cohesion in the face of opposition, disruptions, uncertainty, friction, and obstacles.

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2013 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.