Does Motivation Come from Within or Is It Stimulated by External Forces?

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Most Americans who have not been members of the military are shocked to discover that in the midst of "good order" thrives a culture of innovation. Ask the average person what they think the military is like, and you will get responses that conjure images of mindless robots, programmed to follow orders without question.

The actual cultural norm is just the opposite and that goes from the top generals to brand new recruits in basic training. For those who have spent time in the military, the familiar mantra from day one is continuous improvement. Each branch of the service (Army, Navy , Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) has its own cash award program. Each branch rewards innovation and ideas by giving away thousands of dollars to its members. Ironically, the return on their investment can be millions or even billions of tax payer dollars. Talk about a win-win situation!!

The majority of military members utilize an entrepreneurial approach in their jobs. They firmly believe in what they are doing. Each year, these veterans get better and better at what they do, resulting in the best military force across the globe. They do not brag; they simply are part of an organizational climate that is ripe for innovation. Leadership continually fosters, encourages, and rewards those who become champions of finding better ways to accomplish the mission. Their experience teaches them to be the best at what they do each and every day, and that theme echoes across the Department of Defense.

One of the most famous supporters of this philosophy and experience is Kelly Perdew. Kelly won the most recent season of The Apprentice television show. On his website and in his new book, he echoes the vital lessons he learned in the military:

"As a West Point graduate, US Ranger, and U.S. Army Intelligence Officer I didn't just serve in the Military; I passionately embraced it with everything I had. In return, the military taught me principles that guide my everyday life and have...
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