What Motivates Us?

What does motivation have to dow with leadership? How about power and influence?

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36 Responses to What Motivates Us?

  1. Thomas Nave says:

    This is such an interesting video involving what drives humans in the workplace. People aren’t necessarily motivated by money, but by a variety of other aspects. When people are paid well enough in the workplace, the money is set aside, and they may accomplish more work overall. I think it is interesting that people are more driven by making a change and being challenged than by a tangible award for working hard.

    • Grace Ellis says:

      I agree with Thomas. I typically thought a majority of people were simply driven by making money. This video was surprising and refreshing; it makes me happy to know that there are people who are motivated by making a difference and pushing themselves toward greater outcomes than wealth and riches. Leaders who are able to influence their followers to achieve great things, motivating them not with money but with the promise of making a meaningful change in the world.

  2. Adam W says:

    This idea is great for any kind of leader. As a leader, it is important to give motivation to subordinates. Motivation allows them to want to complete their tasks. Its fascinating to see how much better people perform when they aren’t working for some sort of prize. When a self drive or passion is involved in work, the motivation comes from the person and the personal gain and benefit of knowledge that they receive. Giving a worker freedom in their thoughts also allows them to be more expressive and creative with their ideas.

  3. Will Coffey says:

    It’s interesting that when just a little bit of thinking is involved for a task, rewards do not solely motivate people. It isn’t a reward that drives people in these situations, but self motivation to do something effectively. The fact that when people are not concerned about their income, they are more likely to completely engage in their work makes complete sense. I really liked the example of Atlassian, and how freedom in at work, led to many great ideas, fixes, and products. I believe that this is something many companies should try, and see if the results are positive such as those involved with Atlassian.

  4. Jake Brown says:

    People shouldn’t be motivated by receiving payment for their work. They should be motivated by the fact that their work means something to this world and can have a lasting effect that will be positive. I think that many people here at Virginia Tech should try to understand this. Everyone is so grade driven and hungry for an ‘A’ on their test that they don’t stop to think about what it is they are learning. Our education has become, let me cram all this information into my head for this test and five minutes after it won’t matter anymore, so i’ll just forget it all. It has no meaning because it doesn’t cause a sense of satisfaction. We need to change the way our system is here so that the knowledge that is being passed to us is actually going to be influential and not just tested and forgotten. That will get this world nowhere fast.

  5. Luke Carroll says:

    This really is a new innovative way of thinking from a business prospective, because from everything we have ever this is the exact opposite. But in a sense this is the perfect medium. You think of any major labor strike that has happened in the last 50 to 60 years and break it down to the core of why they are striking it is because of a lack of purpose, and also autonomy. Take factory workers looking for higher wages. They sit in a huge factory all day probably doing the same activity for endless hours with brief if any breaks in between. They lack motivation, purpose, and a autonomy because the factory runs their lives. Take for example me writing this blog post, I do this because I must, but it provides me a cognitive outlet and a fresh outlook on leadership and things related to leadership outside of the classroom. In this way I am able to be autonomous with my comments and get my questions or beliefs on subjects out.

  6. Rachel E says:

    I completely agree with the statement about people not being motivated by being paid but by the effect their work has on the outside world. In high school, we watched this video when studying motivations in Psychology. Our entire class was astounded at the idea that people who were paid more did not necessarily do any better. At this point we started going over possible reasons of why people were not nearly as motivated and one of the ideas that was thrown around was that you get paid so much as it is that you do not feel a need to contribute any new ideas to the job. Those that get paid less work harder and are more creative due to the fact that they owe more to the company. The idea of what motivates people is interesting to study, but each person has their own motivations. Money in the workplace should be handled differently but there should be more rewards than just money. The company from Australia was so innovative in their rewards. Giving a day in which all of its employees can do whatever work they want and then present it is an excellent way to let people do what they want and then show their work and be proud of it.

  7. Jasmine Porter says:

    I agree with the statement that most people are not motivated by being paid but by the type of work their doing and how beneficial their work is to their community or the world. Often times, individuals work hard in whether they make a lot or not. But generally, people who have lesser paying jobs may hate their job but appreciate it because they need the money and are happy to even have a job.

  8. Cat Hauser says:

    I love things like this! They are fast paced and interesting and make me think. I agree with the ending statement that the world would be a little bit better if we gave people a little more freedom and credit. I like the study he said about the place that gave people 24 hours to do whatever they want. I think it is a useful study to those people who think everyone is driven by money. This study proves that people are just wanting to do something that matters. I think a lot of companies would benefit from this experience on their own. It would make the world thrive with new ideas and new discoveries. I think this video is also useful for leaders, because it proves that people are not completely driven by money and gives the followers more credit then some leaders are willing to give.

  9. Catherine (Cate) Beach says:

    This makes complete sense. It always seems as though money is the only way to motivate people to do things but in all reality it’s the idea of purpose that truly motivates them. People want to leave there mark and do something worth while, so if they have the opportunity to think for themselves and do their own thing, like the company in Australia allowed, then they will be more innovative and motivated to work. I think that companies should highly consider allowing a day for free thought like Atlassian did. I believe this would be very beneficial in our companies.

  10. Allyson True says:

    I thought this video was very interesting, especially the results of the studies conducted. I wouldn’t have thought people who were offered a bigger reward would not do as well at a task as those offered a lower reward. I would like to know what would happen in many companies and industries if the management knew these facts.

  11. Francisco Gabitan says:

    In the words of Karl Marx, people have a sense of “species being” a sense that their work is for the benefit of society and humanity. I believe that if individuals have this, then they will be motivated to act in a way which is beneficial to society and this might lead to leadership in order to set others towards a direction toward that same goal. When individuals are motivated, they will act in ways that nurture themselves to enable a more effective way of working, this in turn increases their ability to wield power and influence.

  12. David Bohn says:

    I found this video very interesting. I like the talk from the perspective of the followers I feel as though many times people think of the leader as having the power, when as Kellerman states, the followers have more power then given credit for. As a leader one should respect their followers. They must share power with the followers in order to remain in good favor and respect with those they are leading. Kellerman’s thoughts in this video are very interesting and are good to consider in making major decisions that affect followers.

  13. kelsey edmonds says:

    I have never really seen motivation described like this before but this video was very effective in displaying this unique perspective. In society today, I think many people are very goal-driven because they want to attain a monetary reward. However, it is interesting to me that people actually perform better when they have a sense of purpose and incentive to be successful besides attaining a reward. In the video, it states “Once you get above cognitive skill, larger rewards leads to poorer performance”. In the study at MIT, they rewarded the top performers for mechanical skill and this study proved to be effective. However, when the tasks got to be over the worker’s head, lower quality was produced because the workers were doing their job for the wrong reasons. When people genuinely like what they are doing and are given more freedom and flexibility, they will be much more motivated to perform better in the end. This theory of motivation is definitely something companies and businesses should take into consideration when leading and managing their followers.

  14. Alexander Jones says:

    I am motivated by determination and strong beliefs. Although I must say cash influences me too, this video clearly shows what time has turned people into. Things didn’t used to be like this and leadership is changing along with the motivation styles as time goes on.

  15. Macy Kinder says:

    Motivation has to do with leadership because for a leader to be effective in his/her vision then he/she needs to have a drive behind his/her cause. If a leader lacks motivation then how is that leader supposed to gain any followers? A leader needs power in order to control a group, but in order to control a group, a leader needs influence. Power over a group can only do so much. If a leader is powerful then that leader has the group under his/her attention. If a leader lacks influence then that leader won’t get any action or drive out of the group. Therefore, the group would lack purpose because it wouldn’t get anything done.

  16. John jones says:

    Motivation has everything to do with leadership. A good leader will motivate a follower to actually want to make a difference. From this, I believe power and influence derive from the concept of motivation. If a leader can motivate followers then he or she therefore influences them and has a power over them.

  17. Mariana Sa says:

    I am passionate about social justice, and this is probably the cause I want to work for during my life. Leadership was the way I found to work for social justice, so far, and so this is the motivation I have on learning more about the interactions between people, nations and cultures that only leadership provides.

  18. Kyle Rushton says:

    When I was watching this video, I kept thinking back to Northouse’s explanations of “Overcoming Obstacles”. Obstacle three expands on what a leader should do when individuals are not motivated. Under this obstacle is the expectancy theory, which describes that “people will be more highly motivated when the effort they put into a task leads to an expected outcome that they value.” This video comments on the fact that performance was higher when people were paid enough that they did not need to focus their minds on money. When people are comfortable and satisfied with what they are receiving in return for their work, they will be more likely to devote their minds to the full task at hand. To be an efficient leader, I think it is very important to keep the followers engaged and motivated in the goal that is to be achieved.

  19. Patrick Lawrence says:

    This video is pretty interesting as it shows what motivates humans in the workplace. People aren’t always totally motivated by money, but there is a combination of things that will collectively inspire them. People who are successful in the workplace will receive pay benefits obviously, but usually their work and productivity will increase. A challenge is always a good thing, because it will motivate for higher and much better results in the end. Followers must be motivated an on track to achieve their goals.

  20. Emily Hucks says:

    This video was actually very interesting to me. When talking about motivation, most people just think that incentives will make people work harder and their right as long as the task involved is using on mechanical skills. He said that once cognitive skills came in to play the higher the incentive the worse that the people did on the task at hand. Like Rachel said that the class come up with “those that get paid less work harder and are more creative due to the fact that they owe more to the company. I believe that this is true, they think that maybe if they contribute more than they might get paid more.

  21. Crista Watson says:

    To be inspired, one has to be in touch with their feelings and emotional side. This is important because feelings are what drive motivation and the idea we repeat in our minds to keep us moving forward. It is this unrealistic idea of a future that could very much so be a reality. It is the concept that keeps us going.

    • Kyla Mauro says:

      I agree with Crista, if people did not believe in what they were saying then it would be harder to convince and motivate people to believe in the same things. When leaders truly believe in what they are saying, that is when they acquire followers with the same beliefs. No one is going to support a follower when they dont believe in what they stand for.

  22. Andrew says:

    Social justice is a huge issue in today’s society and through a class such as leadership I feel that I will be able to address it head on when it comes up in the future. I know that we live in a much more just world than previous generations, but we still need leaders to fight against the underlying issues of today.

  23. Ethan Brown says:

    Motivation is the underlying factor behind all successes. Without motivation no goal would ever be accomplished in life and especially the workplace. By providing incentives for certain tasks we can improve certain outcomes while also not providing incentives for other aspects of the job can promote good outcomes as well. With this being said motivation is a drastically important tool that must be utilized and harvested upon properly to ensure the best possible outcomes.

  24. Kristina Gallagher says:

    There are two ways that people are motivated, extrinsically and intrinsically. Intrinsic motivation comes from within. For example, I plan on becoming a teacher because not because I am extrinsically motivated by the money, or the position of power, but because teaching brings me true joy. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside sources like money, power, and other rewards.

    • Courtney H says:

      I agree with Kristina on this one. When I think about my future occupation, I don’t think about what would make me the most money, but what I would truly find pleasure in doing. Extrinsic motivation isn’t a factor for me. If people are challenged to find a job they love, and hopefully change the world somehow with that, those obstacles will bring them more joy than money ever could.

  25. Lindsay DeMers says:

    In order to be a good leader, one needs to have motivation. That motivation is used to effectively put the leader’s power and influence to work. When a leader has influence, he or she has power. In addition, I think that when followers see that their leader is motivated, they become more motivated as well. Therefore, the leader’s influence is strengthened, and his or her power is enhanced. This makes it easier to get things done, so motivation is a good trait for a leader to have.

  26. Hoo In Won says:

    This video is relatively related to the “How leaders inspire actions.” To be a good leader, one must not focus on the monetary material, but fundamental value such as the “why.” Setting the money as priority, one would not be successful as the one who set his “why” as priority.

    • Taylor McClain says:

      This video definitely reminded me of the “How leaders inspire actions” post. Discovering our “why” or in other words, what we truly believe and what motivates us, will help us become more successful and productive.

  27. Victoria Gray says:

    I was very surprised and interested by this article. I am currently taking an economics class and we are learning about incentives so I naturally thought the more money one received the better one would work. However, this video showed that being self directed and feeling purposeful is much more important.

  28. Miles Rachner says:

    I think this was a great video and has really got me thinking. IT is true you would think with a higher reward you would get better results, but as shown by the video this is not true. I think some of it has to do with fear of messing up, and lack of innovation with such a high reward at stake. As shown throughout history those with free space to do a job by what ever means they wish have a more creative time of it. This also calls for allowing people to work for the jobs they want to work for, which is not always possible. However say it were, and everyone had they job they wanted I think we would see a lot more innovation and progress. If everyone could go to work thinking there were something fun involved things would get done faster and better. But I agree with the video that if we could get around to something like this, and taking money out of the picture, the world could be a better place.

  29. Libby Howe says:

    This video further reinforces the concepts of Simon Sinek. People do what they do because of what they believe in regardless of possible profits. This video also displays theory y concepts in that people are inherently motivated and do not always need incentives to perform well. A purpose is necessary. A cause and a purpose worth advocating will evoke work more than any monetary benefits. In situations where manual labor and low challenge tasks are important for success, sure, monetary benefits will do the trick but this is not the same for innovation and worthwhile success.
    That involves less structure, less control, and more raw emotional belief.

  30. Zack Snow says:

    I think this video was very interesting. Of course money is a primary motivator for many people but for those who are generally on the higher end of the talent pool, I think this type of behavior is clearly displayed. A talented person generally doesn’t have to worry about making money because they are talented, they are special so companies tend to seek them out. They are sought after. Because of this, they are able to work freely on what they want to work on because they have no need to fret over money.

  31. Jerry Huang says:

    Motivation is key for a strong follower-leader relationship and is necessary to promote a strong community. Motivation for followers is necessary to keep order while motivation for leaders is important to give direction and goals for the group.

  32. Taylor McClain says:

    Motivation is absolutely essential for social change. The more we understand about human nature and what motivates us, the more we will be able to create successful and productive organizations and citizens. It would be up to the leader to incorporate this information and motivate followers in appropriate ways. I found this video to be really entertaining! It also excited me to take economics classes in the near future.

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