Tag Archive: Motivation

Jan 06 2018

Everyday MUSINGS 4: ‘SHARE’ – It helps you GROW


It was a usual start of the day for me. I was getting ready to leave for work when my aunt told me that two of her nephews were coming over to meet me. I was little confused as I didn’t know them and didn’t know what they want with me.
Surprisingly, even my aunt didn’t have any clue. She just said, “They need your advice.”

Well, that sounded like fun.

I mean, no matter how much I try to be modest – it feels good when someone values your suggestions and seek them. On top of that – someone who is not even known to you. That gave me a shot of pride, momentarily and I agreed to wait for them, rather happily.

The kids came in a short while – two of them – were in their early 20’s. They greeted everyone in a very traditional way and looked for me (I could make out). They spotted me sitting on the other end of the room on a couch and came straight to me.

After a quick round of greetings and pleasantries – we came straight to business.

“You guys wanted to meet me?” I enquired, amusingly.

One of them responded affirmatively, nodding his head (the usual gesture for Yes).

“Tell me then, what’s the matter?” – I sounded even more amused.

That’s when they spilled the beans – they were in the last leg of their college and wanted advice on higher studies, especially on whether they should go for an MBA degree. It wasn’t surprised somehow as I was already assuming that it would be something to do with some career decision or maybe some suggestion on living in one of the cities I have lived in over the years of my work life.


“Ah! this one is pretty simple.” I thought as I was an MBA myself.

I started asking some basic questions about what they were studying currently and related stuff. It was a candid, to the point discussion – straight, objective responses to every question.

Then, I popped the next one – “Why do you want to be an MBA?”.


It was a moment of TRUTH!

No – Not for them, but for ME.

Sounds strange? Yes, it was.

The moment I shot that question at them, I realized that even I didn’t know the answer to that WHY when I got into the course a few years back. The kids gave me all sorts of responses, from the book – but amazingly even I would have said the same back then.

It was such an amazing moment.

Not only because of the above-said realization but because it sent me back a few years to fetch the RIGHT answer to the question.

I realized that since I had asked the question – I was expected to answer it too.

In just about a couple of minutes, the kids started staring at me with probing eyes – looking for an answer. I turned around and even the family was looking at me, amused, to hear it out from me.

Honestly, that was the quickest I had ever been at creating content out of the data in my head. I gathered all my experiences and learnings – put them together in a meaningful order and presented to them. I would skip putting up all that in this note as it wouldn’t be relevant but the kids looked intrigued.

For next half an hour – they kept on asking me all sorts of random questions related to career planning, job world, corporate politics, city life and what not – and I kept answering them, to their satisfaction.

As I was getting late for work, I insisted that we should continue the discussion later and gave them my phone number so that they can call me if they have more queries or need any more advice. They thanked me, went through the closing round of greetings around the house and left. I left for my office too in a couple of minutes after them leaving – with a strange but pleasant sense of accomplishment.



There was a bigger learning for me than the revelation about WHY I chose to be an MBA – it was that if I would not have met these kids, I would not have discovered so much about my self. Many things that I spoke that day – I wasn’t aware that I knew them already. It was a self-discovery moment, where I probed my own thoughts and came out with meaningful explanations – supported by real-life examples; and most of all – it made sense to the receiver.



Isn’t it such a great learning that more you SHARE with people, more you will explore your own personality and character? I am living by this rule since then and it has worked very well for me.


Do you agree with my learning? Share your story.



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Everyday MUSINGS 3: ‘HONESTY begets HONESTY’

Dec 10 2017

How LEADERS impact the organisations?

A discussion with one of my friend about how leaders shape organizations and careers led me to think deeply about this issue. Why I call this a problem is because I realized that somehow not all who reach the TOP are LEADERS. Of course, I do not have to define LEADERSHIP again for you. Right?

I believe that leaders are expected to give directions to thought-streams and motivate people to bring out the best in them. However, these days these qualities are hard to be found in many of the incumbents in top offices in organizations. Today Leaders are somehow taking employees as well as their motivation for granted.

I am sharing a research note from Scott Blanchard on similar lines, which clarifies that why should leaders not manipulate Employee Motivation.

Have a read: 


Why Trying To Manipulate Employee Motivation Always Backfires:

CEOs have two levers they pull on a regular basis to influence their organizations. The first lever adds to or takes away from strategic intentions. The second one controls the hiring of key talent to ensure that the right people are in the right seats.

Levers work well for many of the factors that impact business success; but one area–employee engagement & motivation–resists “leveraging.” Even after a decade of trying, organizations as a whole have made little progress on improving employee engagement.

Why the struggle with improving this particular area? In short, it’s because you can’t control motivation. While traditional carrot-and-stick levers can influence behavior in the short term, they do not create the intentions to apply discretionary effort and work collaboratively that are required in today’s more sophisticated work environments.


It’s time for a change

It has been known in social science circles for decades: Carrot-and-stick thinking is, at its core, a control method–and people always resist being controlled. Even if they don’t openly resist, people resent being coerced into certain behaviors.

People have their own beliefs and attitudes about their work environment. They make decisions about what is in their best interests based on individual perceptions of what is adding to–or taking away from–their sense of well-being. Building on the pioneering work of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan at the University of Rochester, our recent research into motivation and employee work passion is finding that perceptions of autonomy, relatedness, and competence are the factors that lead to positive employee intentions to stay with organizations, apply discretionary effort, and be good corporate citizens.

We are finding that giving people a chance to succeed in their job and setting them free to a certain degree is the key to motivation, as opposed to trying to direct and control people’s energy. It’s really about letting go and connecting people to their work–and each other–rather than channeling, organizing, orchestrating, and focusing behavior.


Read more about “HOW TO” manage CHANGE effectively in the organisation?


The role of senior leaders

Senior leaders have an important role to play in creating this type of environment. Top leadership sets the tone for this attitude in a company. But many organizations are still set up–explicitly or implicitly–in ways that work against these three motivators.

For example, a woman recently told us her CEO believed that a little bit of fear was good and that moderate to high levels of competition between people and business units were beneficial and kept the company sharp. This attitude of friendly competition inside the company permeated the culture, flowing out from the boardroom and cascading throughout the organization.

This approach had worked for this technology company in the past but began to become a liability as customers asked for more cross-platform compatibility. Because customers were asking for everything to work well together, these internal divisions needed to cooperate more effectively. This required the different business units to think beyond self-interest to the whole customer experience. It proved difficult to change the mindset of this historically competitive culture.

Without a shift in thinking at the top of an organization, it is almost impossible to change an organization’s culture. A study conducted years ago shed some light on the role of senior leaders in changing organizational culture and behavior. The study concluded that the CEO’s disposition and personality had everything to do with the company’s service orientation and collaborative mindset.

CEOs whose personalities and dispositions were more competitive had a direct influence on the degree of competitiveness and fear experienced by members of their senior leadership teams. This resulted in a greater degree of siloed behavior within the organization and less cooperation among sub-units. The net results were less integration across the business, less efficiency, poorer service, and ultimately lower economic performance. On the other hand, CEOs who were more cooperative generated less competitiveness—and less fear-based anxiety generated better results.

Leaders as environmentalists

It’s important for today’s leaders to be environmentalists. Whatever level of leadership you have, challenge yourself and others to use less directing and controlling behaviors and instead look to create a focused and inspired workplace. Customers are requiring that organizations move toward an environment of internal cooperation to create truly innovative new products and services.

Today we realize that control doesn’t work. Find a way to connect your people with the big picture. Create an environment free of fear and anxiety. Leaders don’t need a new lever–they need a new approach to bringing out the best in people. Give a little bit. You’ll be surprised at what can be accomplished when people are free of fear and find their motivation within, instead of being controlled by external carrots and sticks.


Scott Blanchard is the co-founder of Blanchard Certified, a new cloud-based leadership development resource, and experience. Ken Blanchard is the best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and 50 other books on leadership. You can follow Ken Blanchard on Twitter @KenBlanchardor @LeaderChat and also via the HowWeLead and LeaderChat blogs.


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