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Motivation vs. Movement

by Randall Craig on December 15, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Motivational

Tagged as: , ,

Why do some people have such incredible drive, and others seem to just bumble along, rarely achieving their professional goals? To answer this question one need only look at motivation, and how it usually is “achieved” on the job.

Most people have annual job goals or objectives. As an example, salespeople have commission plans, bonuses, and other incentives to “produce”. Yet sales managers know that if they double the payout, they won’t get double the sales: they get movement towards goals, not motivation to achieve them.

Motivation is an intrinsic personal drive, not a result of external stimulus. The job of the manager is to recruit these people into the role whose personal motivation is inline with the movement that the manager requires. Then when hired, the manager’s role is to both remove impediments to movement, and coach the employee to develop and improve their skills and efficiency.

Strong managers know that when they connect with the employee’s motivational hooks, the employee will do whatever it takes to get the job done. A contest for sports tickets will mean very little to people who aren’t fans. A family get-together is not likely to be interesting to singles. And so on.

This week’s action item: This week, move your colleagues to action by hooking into what intrinsically motivates them. They’ll do a better job, they’ll do it faster, and they’ll be happier doing it. Bonus action item: What motivates you? (You’ll be happier – and more effective – if you share this with your manager.)

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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