Posts Tagged ‘extrinsic motivation’

by Richard Martin

Readiness can be reduced to this essential component: the intrinsic motivation to be ready, willing, and able to accomplish the mission no matter what.

My daughter Elizabeth works as a salesclerk in a men’s and women’s clothing boutique. She was telling me that the floor manager assembles the team at the start of each day and at shift changes to give them the day’s sales target.

Elizabeth tells me that this quantitative target is little motivation to her. She gets her drive from helping the clients find the right clothing and leaving the store satisfied. To her, the most important thing is the client’s experience and whether they will depart in a good mood, having achieved their aim and willing to come back and recommend the store to others.

As I reflected on this, I realized that it highlights the distinction between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Sales targets are a form of extrinsic motivation. They may influence some people to perform, but most people don’t get their drive from such externally measured objectives.

The willingness to help clients and the satisfaction that comes from doing so is a form of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the stronger form of influence. It comes from within and gives people the inner strength to overcome obstacles and motor past resistance.

Remember Richard’s Business Readiness Process in 2017!

  1. Ensure vigilance through situational awareness.
  2. Do preliminary assessment of tasks and time.
  3. Activate organization or team.
  4. Conduct reconnaissance.
  5. Do detailed situational estimate.
  6. Conduct wargame and decide on optimal course(s) of action.
  7. Perform risk management and contingency planning.
  8. Communicate plan and issue direction.
  9. Build organizational robustness.
  10. Ensure operational continuity.
  11. Lead and control execution.
  12. Assess performance.

Call me for a Business Readiness Briefing!

My name is Richard Martin and I’m an expert on applying readiness principles to position companies and leaders to grow and thrive by shaping and exploiting change and opportunity, instead of just passively succumbing to uncertainty and risk.

© 2017 Alcera Consulting Inc. This article may be used for non-commercial use with proper attribution.

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.