Five Beliefs that Erode Workplace Motivation (Part 2)

bigstock-d-man-with-earthquake-crack-15393341-e1378078498794Here is a brief excerpt from an article by Susan Fowler featured by LinkedIn Pulse. To read the complete article, check out others, and sign up to receive email alerts, please click here.

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My previous post challenged you to complete five common statements related to motivation. It wasn’t much of a challenge. These beliefs are so deeply embedded in our collective psyche that they roll off the tongue. What is a challenge is to let go and replace these statements with beliefs that promote an optimally motivating workplace.

In Part 1, we flipped the first statement: “It’s not personal, it is just business” became “If it is business, it must be personal.”

In this post we explore the second eroding belief: The purpose of business is to make money (a profit).

We will explore the other statements in upcoming posts.

o We need to hold people ___________.

o The only thing that really matters is _______.

o If you cannot measure it, it _________ ________.

Your Beliefs Determine the Way You Lead

When you hold the belief that money is the purpose of business you are likely to over-emphasize results. You are apt to resort to pressure to motivate people to get those results. You may be tempted to employ questionable ethical practices. When given a choice, you might choose quantity over quality, short-term results over long-term results, and profits over people.

Consider how an alternative belief would generate a different approach to your leadership. How would your decisions and actions be different with the following statement?

The purpose of business is to serve.

Think how this reframed belief might alter your organization’s dashboard metrics—or at least the content and quality of the goals. How might reframing goals so they focus on internal as well as external service, quality of people’s efforts as well as the results of their efforts, or celebrating learning and growth in addition to accomplishments, change the way you lead day-to-day?

Hard-nosed businesspeople will push back on these ideas with a traditional argument, “You can serve all you want, but this soft stuff doesn’t make you money and if you don’t make a profit you will go out of business. Then you won’t be serving anyone.”

It is true that a business must make a profit to sustain itself. But it is an illogical leap to conclude that profit is therefore the purpose of business. You need air to live, plus water and food. But the purpose of your life is not to just breathe, eat, and drink. Your purpose is richer and more profound than basic survival. And the more noble your purpose and developed your values are, the more they influence how you live day-to-day. When you believe that the purpose of business is to serve, you lead differently. Your decisions and actions are more likely to cultivate a workplace that supports people’s optimal motivation.

Originally posted on Blanchard LeaderChat.

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Here is a direct link to the complete article.

If you wish to read Part 1, please click here.

Fowler (small)Susan Fowler has 35 years of experience as a researcher, consultant, and coach in over 30 countries around the globe in the field of self-leadership. She is Senior Consulting Partner at The Ken Blanchard Companies, and a professor in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership program at the University of San Diego.

She is the author of six books, most recently being Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does.

You can follow Susan on Twitter by clicking here.

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