Why Motivating People Doesn't Work . . . and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging
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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!
people’s performance slowed and slumped as well. When his staff, and the customers they served, started to complain, turnover increased. Art’s response was, “The only way I can get people to improve their performance is to pay them more money, set up recognition programs, and reward and incentivize them to work harder. And I don’t have the budget for that.” Art did what most organizations do when they don’t have enough money to keep elevating pay and incentives to motivate people using
might interpret the results to mean that self-regulation is something people are born with rather than something they choose or can develop. This is why research by the University of Rochester in 2012 captured my attention.6 These researchers wondered what effect children’s rational thought process played in their capacity to self-regulate. In the Rochester experiments, “teachers” set up an art project to explore why some children demonstrate higher-quality self-regulation than others. Children
noble purpose. When Express Employment Professionals announced sales goals at a recent conference of franchise owners, the leaders reminded the attendees that the purpose of their business is to put a million people to work. The energy generated was electric! When Berrett-Koehler, my publisher, puts out its catalog of offerings to buyers, the cover’s primary message is “A community dedicated to creating a world that works for all.” My experience has been that every goal, metric, and decision
suboptimal—disinterested, external, and imposed. These outlooks are considered motivational junk food, reflecting low-quality motivation. Three of the outlooks are labeled as optimal—aligned, integrated, and inherent. These outlooks are considered motivational health food, reflecting high-quality motivation. To take full advantage of the Spectrum of Motivation, it is important to appreciate the different effects suboptimal and optimal motivational outlooks have on people’s well-being, short-term
But even if they do, they are not likely to experience the positive energy, vitality, or sense of well-being required to sustain their performance over time.14 The three optimal motivational outlooks—aligned, integrated, and inherent—are the health foods of motivation. They may require more thought and preparation, but they generate high-quality energy, vitality, and positive well-being that leads to sustainable results. Motivation Mini Case Study: Himesh’s Story On his first day back at a