Book Review: Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … and What Does

If you feel that your efforts to motivate employees are falling short, you are not alone. Senior consulting partner for the Ken Blanchard Companies, Susan Fowler, reveals that motivating people doesn’t work because they are already motivated in Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … and What Does. Fowler helps leaders understand what they can do to go beyond traditional styles of motivation to help people not only be more productive and engaged but to bring a sense of purpose to their work. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

“You can use all your power attempting to motivate people, but it won’t work if you want them to experience an optimal motivational outlook. Shifting to an optimal motivational outlook is something people can do only for themselves,” writes Fowler. She presents a tested model and course of action that will help leaders guide their employees toward the type of motivation that will increase productivity and engagement. Her Optimal Motivation process shows leaders how to help people meet their needs for autonomy, relatedness and competence for long-lasting motivation. Of the three, relatedness is about our need to feel like we are contributing to something greater than ourselves. This is important for leaders to help their employees feel like all their work matters to the organization as a whole.

Fowler concludes her profound thoughts on motivation by re-thinking five beliefs, which she states erode workplace motivation. These eroding beliefs include: It’s Not Personal; It’s Just Business, The Purpose of Business Is to Make Money, Leaders Are in a Position of Power, The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Results, and If You Cannot Measure It, It Doesn’t Matter. As a leader, you can activate optimal motivation for yourself to become a role model for others in your organization with the insights in Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … and What Does.

New Summaries to Improve Your Skills

The ability to carry out our positions in the most effective and efficient way is often neglected in order to get the job done on time. However it is important to your career and organization to reflect on how processes can be done better or more effectively. Developing skills that can be applied to both your professional and personal life can lead to your highest potential. Learn how to improve your skills by being a better motivator, better communicator, and take better risks with these three new Soundview Executive Book Summaries.

pitch_perfect

by Bill McGowan and
Alisa Bowman

Pitch Perfect by Bill McGowan and Alisa Bowman

In our professional and personal lives, situations rest on how well we communicate. Bill McGowan, media guru and correspondent, teaches you how to get your message across and get what you want with pitch perfect communication. In Pitch Perfect, McGowan shows you how to construct the right message and deliver it using the right language, verbally and nonverbally. Throughout the book, he distills his ideas into seven principles leading readers to effective communication.

 

why_motivating_people

by Susan Fowler

Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … and What Does by Susan Fowler

Top leadership researcher, consultant, and coach Susan Fowler suggests stop trying to motivate people because it doesn’t work. In Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … and What Does, Fowler builds upon scientific research on human motivation to present readers a model that will help leaders guide their employees toward motivation that not only increases productivity and engagement but that gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Knowing what doesn’t work, why it doesn’t work, and what does will help leaders bring change in their organizations.

 

little_bets

by Peter Sims

Little Bets by Peter Sims

It is always rewarding when you take a risk and it pays off. In Little Bets, bestselling Peter Sims found that rather than start with a big idea or plan a whole project in advance, you should make a methodical series of little bets, low-risk actions taken to test an idea. This book offers readers a new way to explore and develop new possibilities with engaging accounts of innovators around the world who capitalized off their little bets.

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions

WHY YOU NEED TO ASK QUESTIONS

The reason that effective leaders ask questions, writes bestselling leadership author and speaker John Maxwell in his new book, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, is that questions are the most effective means of communicating with people. They also allow leaders to unlock doors that would normally be closed, build better ideas, gain different perspectives, and break free of the “mental laziness” of comfortable, unchallenged mindsets — just to name a few of their advantages. As Maxwell explains, “If you want to make discoveries, if you want to disrupt the status quo, if you want to make progress and find new ways of thinking and doing, you need to ask questions.”

Questions Leaders Need to Ask Themselves and Their Teams

In the first part of Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, Maxwell focuses on what questions leaders should ask themselves and what questions they should ask of the team. Leaders, Maxwell explains, must ask themselves the tough questions if they want to be responsible and proactive leaders. These questions cover areas such as, among others, personal growth (“Am I investing in myself?”); motivation (“Am I genuinely interested in others?”); stability (“Am I grounded as a leader?”) and effectiveness (“Am I staying in my strength zone?”). Each question is an opportunity for Maxwell to explore key leadership issues. “Am I grounded as a leader?” for example, leads to a discussion of three important qualities that all leaders need to exhibit: humility, authenticity and calling.

In addition to questioning themselves, leaders must also question their team members. Good questions will show team members that they are valued and will inspire others to “dream more, think more, learn more, do more and become more,” Maxwell writes. There are numerous questions that need to be asked if leaders want an open, effective team. These questions range from “How can I serve you?” “What do I need to communicate?” and “What am I missing?” to “Did we exceed expectations?” “Did we add value?” and “How do we make the most of this opportunity?”

“I Told The Ding-A-Lings What To Do”

In the second section of the book, Maxwell presents the questions that leaders have asked him over the years. These myriad questions are expertly grouped into seven key leadership-related issues, captured as questions of course. These issues include “What must I do to lead myself successfully?” “How can I successfully navigate leadership transitions?” and “How can I develop leaders?” Each issue is then broken down into 10 more specific questions, which allows Maxwell to develop an insightful and concise tutorial on the issue.

One chapter, for example, is entitled “How do I resolve conflict and lead challenging people?” This is a recurring and often frustrating problem for many leaders. Maxwell breaks the issue down into specific questions related to resolving conflict and leading challenging people. For example, “How do you raise the bar when people have gotten used to settling for mediocrity?” “How do you motivate an unmotivated person?” “How do you deal with people who start things but never finish?” “At what point do you turn your energy away from dissenters and low performers and focus on those who want to grow?”

In some cases, the answers to these questions come in the form of other questions. For example, some people may not be aware that they are settling for mediocrity. Thus, questions such as “Are you reaching your maximum potential?” and “Would you like to do better?” can help people see possibilities that they had been ignoring.

For motivation, on the other hand, Maxwell offers straightforward advice beginning with, hire motivated people. He also suggests rewarding people for the desired behavior and giving people a reputation to uphold — that is, the more leaders validate people for the good things they do, the more people will want to continue to do them. Leaders must also understand the connection between relationships and motivation. One leader continuously referred to his staff as the “ding-a-lings,” saying such things as “I told the ding-a-lings what to do, but of course they didn’t do it.” His contempt was apparent to his employees, who were, not surprisingly, unmotivated.

As with his many other leadership books, Maxwell’s latest is clearly written, clearly organized and filled with insight engagingly captured through precise and illuminating questions.

Book Review: Out Think

by G. Shawn Hunter

by G. Shawn Hunter

The keys to competitive advantage in leadership used to be etched in stone. A leader was expected to be relentlessly dedicated to a specialty and use intelligence and drive to separate a company from its competitors. Today’s leaders operate in a different environment. It’s one that requires a combination of flexibility and a willingness to work with others. In each chapter of Out Think, author and executive learning expert G. Shawn Hunter presents a key component and techniques to show how to implement ideas that drive the change leaders want in their organizations. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

Hunter urges leaders to implement a new process that can accelerate new-product and value-creation pipelines. This is to counteract the “marketquake,” a term coined by Hunter to describe the volatile economic conditions of the current business climate. In Out ThinkHunter provides a number of key ideas, each of which is reinforced by takeaways drawn from the author’s access to top-level executives around the globe.

While subjects such as trust, exploration and collaboration are presented in new ways, executives may want to pay close attention to ideas that don’t normally receive as much coverage in business books. Hunter’s chapter on aspiration is one such example. By enabling team members to combine optimism with a well-articulated goal, Hunter provides leaders with the knowledge to turn their employees into company heroes.

Beyond learning why and how innovation has become the primary driver of successful companies, executives will also learn the key components of innovation and how to implement them in their organizations. With Out Think, any leader can make a measurable difference within their organization to outthink the competition.

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

START WITH WHY

THE QUESTION TO ASK
Inspiration comes in a variety of forms, but the root of it grows from a fundamental question asked by those who are able to inspire others. The most important question of all, according to leadership expert Simon Sinek, is: Why do we do what we do? Asking this question can mean the difference between a company that makes a profit over the short term and a company that creates long-term financial success. Asking “why” also helps us draw others to us because we all want to understand why things are the way they are.

In Start With Why, Sinek explains that those who remember to answer that question are better able to attract others to their cause and create the inspiration people need to stay loyal and committed. When organizations explore why they exist, they are more likely to inspire their employees to join in their efforts and better able to attract customers to their products.

‘The Golden Circle’
After examining the ways manipulative leaders motivate their people, such as playing the price game, selling through promotions, using fear tactics, playing on insecurities and applying peer pressure, Sinek describes a better path to inspiration: a leadership model he calls “The Golden Circle.”

The Golden Circle is a series of three concentric circles that starts with a circle in the middle that represents why. The next circle represents how, and the outside circle represents what. Sinek writes that every company knows what it does because what simply represents the product or service that the company sells or the job function an employee performs to sell that product or service. How explains how the company is different from other companies. But the why is the most important core that needs to be explored to find inspiration. Sinek explains that the most inspired companies and leaders think, act and communicate from the inside of the Golden Circle and work their way outward.

To describe how inspirational people and companies lead, Sinek holds up examples such as the Wright brothers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Apple Inc.
A prime example of an innovative company that inspires its employees and customers by starting with why is Apple. Sinek shows how the marketing message that Apple uses to create value begins with an explanation of the underlying differentiator that separates the company from its competitors. Sure, it makes computers, but that message comes after the company states that it believes in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.

Orville and Wilbur Wright
Similarly, Sinek writes, the Wright brothers were able to become the first people to pilot their own flying machine before experts with more resources at their disposal. The Wright brothers started with the passion for flight, which was a far more effective why than the mere ambition for achievement that compelled the Smithsonian’s Samuel Pierpont Langley and his shop of well-educated experts who also strove to be the first to fly. Other people joined Orville and Wilbur Wright’s team because they were inspired by their belief that people could fly. This belief helped the Wright brothers excite their team members to do the hard work that got them off the ground before anyone else in the world.

Stories like this demonstrate Sinek’s theory about the importance of inspiration when leading others. Through lively historical examples that captivate while inspiring, Sinek offers readers a wealth of role models to help them find the inspiration to reach their own goals.