Motivation or Manipulation?
People cannot be motivated.
There is a case to be made for the powerful use of manipulation, both short and long term however it is my belief people cannot be externally motivated. We use the word “motivation” in all kinds of ways which I find miss the mark. It is not possible to motivate someone who does not already have the desire to do something. We may be able to manipulate a result from them - we’re all familiar with the carrot and stick method of manipulation. This method is used so often we mistake it for motivation. Manipulation is highly effective - no doubt. However it’s not motivation. To me motivation is an inside job. It is the bi-product of a deep rooted internal need or desire which as a result furnishes proof that one cannot be motivated by outside influence alone. If this were true children would listen to their parents, students to their teachers, and salespeople would all be driven to deliver high levels of service and excellence at all times. Motivation in an inside job.
People can and must be inspired.
Inspiration is my job. It’s your job. It’s our job. Collectively as a marketplace we must see inspiration as the means to moving our staff and clients to action. Inspiration provides the long term sustainability the carrot and stick manipulations cannot. When we seek to inspire those around us to action we don’t have to discount, we don’t have to buy CSI scores, and we don’t have to come up with the next flashy gimmick. Inspiration allows buyers to buy with the head, heart, and emotion. A rather profitable proposal if you ask me. More importantly when inspired our staff becomes aligned, committed, and dedicated to go the extra mile because they feel part of something bigger. You only need to look at Facebook or Twitter to see how badly we simply want to belong.
People come to you motivated. Whatever internal driver brought them to you was motivation enough regardless of if they are clients or staff. The long term viability of our operations and the success or failure of our current and future markets will be based on one decision - manipulation or inspiration?
Ask Lehman Brothers if manipulation is a strong long term strategy.