Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Motivation

"You would be amazed about how much great work will be done if you don't worry about who got the credit."

This statement is beginning to haunt me. Lately, I use it so often at work, I am tired of hearing it blurt out of my mouth. More troubling is the fact that I only say it about 30% of the time I think it. As I tracked all my judgements this week, I realized that I judge credit mongers. You know, the people who spend more time making sure everyone knows about their great work than actually doing great work and when they are worried that they don't have enough of their own great work, they showcase others' work as their own.

My exploration of this judgement led me down a path of motivation. I envisioned the one person I believe is the most successful credit monger role model. She's a beautiful lady, well educated, smart, articulate, innovative, and as many people would describe her "buttoned up". What do you think "buttoned up" really means? In this case, I learned it means everything from well dressed to snooty but it's an interesting descriptor none the less.

Anyway, as I thought about her work, I realized that although she is not always the idea generator, she executes better than most and the impact of her work is just as good as the work of my favorite "credit giver" role models. This insight sparked a thought.... "if Ms. Button is motivated to do great work through the credit she receives and Ms. Giver is motivated to do great work through the credit she gives, why do I care what they are motivated by as long as the work itself has positive impact on our business results?

I began to think about other examples where my judgement of the motivation impacted the value I placed on the result and I learned that I am a big fat motivation judger. WOW, what an insight for me. Here is a sampling of the motivations I judge: credit, money, status, irritating others, looking good, self promotion, "showing them", competing with others, etc. On a side note, I am amazed at how motivating the belief of "irritating others" really is and how many people including myself, use it all the time. I think it's a personal favorite for many of you who are reading this blog right now.

My other aha moment during this journey was that I am usually assuming the motivation I am judging as I don't often to take the time to actually validate that my motivation assumption is true. My judgements are sitting in make believe land and something that may or may not actually exist is shaping my behavior. Talk about irrational behavior. Who me? I am the most rational person I know. Or so I thought.

Love to all,
Kathy

1 comment:

  1. Kathy,
    Love where you're going with this. Wouldn't it be great to transform the judge-o-meter into an amplifier, i.e., recognize the motivations of others and then fuel them rather than judging them. In a corporate environment, credit-junkies are much less expensive than dollar-junkies: it's cheaper to hand out recognition awards than bonuses.

    I also like the idea of digging below the surface motivation to see what's down at the core. Three people who seem motivated by money may have completely different drivers, one is saving for a house, another likes the status, and another is sending 70% of what she makes back to her family in Asia.

    Could be that your judgments are actually a great alerting system so you don't miss your awareness of someone's motivations.

    Teflon

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