What defines leadership? Executives ask
this question every time they choose a new
leader or train their current leaders.
In order to be truly effective, there are five
critical qualities that a leader must have.
A leader must be a Visionary; A leader
must be a person of Integrity and Honesty
and have Values; A leader must know how to
properly motivate others; and A leader must
be able to lead change and finally, A leader
must be able to lead a culture of change.
While each role is unique, they are also
interdependent. In this series of articles,
we will explore these leadership roleswhat they are and how to hone your skills for each role.
The Importance of Motivation
Within each person is the often-untapped
potential for energy and enthusiasm that
produces the high job performance critical
to a successful project. Effective leaders
are able to release individuals’ potential
energy and build teams that are motivated
and ready to take on the task at hand.
Types of Motivation
There are two types of motivation,
extrinsic and intrinsic.
A person is extrinsically motivated when
the primary source of motivation is to
attain a tangible outcome such as a
reward, or to avoid a negative outcome
such as a punishment.
In a work setting, people are extrinsically
motivated if the principal reason for their
effort at work is pay, positive performance
reviews, opportunities for advancement,
© Cornelius & Associates
bonuses and the like. Similarly, people are
also extrinsically motivated if the principal
reason for the effort at work is to avoid
reprimands, poor performance reviews,
poor assignments, and dismissals.
Notice that with extrinsic motivation, the
source of the motivation is external to the
task itself. The tangible outcome we
seek, such as a pay raise, is invariably
administered (controlled) by someone else.
The second type of motivation is intrinsic
People are intrinsically
motivated when the principal reason for
their effort at work is that they find the
work itself exciting, challenging,
fulfilling, interesting, and energizing.
Further, they get feelings of pride,
feelings of achievement, and feelings of
accomplishment when working on these
Notice that with intrinsic motivation, the
source of the motivation truly “comes
from within.” It is not controlled or
mediated by someone else.
Effective leaders should strive to create
an environment that is intrinsically
motivating. Here are some reasons why:
Close supervision is no longer needed:
We can’t be in all places at all times. In
these times, many organizations are
being asked to “do more with less,”
which has led many organizations
towards a self-management style. Close
supervision is critical when people are
extrinsically motivated. Close supervision
is not necessary when people are
Attracting and retaining employees
has become more difficult
In today’s competitive workplace,
salaries and benefits are no longer
enough to attract employees and keep
them satisfied. We must make the actual
work more fulfilling and energizing so
employees see an advantage of staying
with your company, instead of just
moving on to an organization that can
offer a larger salary. Creating work
environments that are intrinsically
motivating (described later) helps
considerably in retention of employees.
Extrinsic rewards have limitations
Although traditional extrinsic rewards do
work, the effects are temporary, and
people are likely to perform for the
wrong reasons. A bonus or a pay raise
is always satisfactory, but the motivation
effects are only temporary, and it
creates a mindset that “I only perform
for the rewards” or “I only perform to
keep from getting fired” rather than “I
perform because my job is...