Four Motives for Change Bill Hawkins
Why would a top performer sacrifice personal gain to help somebody else on the team? Why do some people turn down job offers for significantly more money? And why do some people refuse to make what seem to be minor changes when not doing so could cost them their job? The reason is the natural law. People are willing to do something, including changing their behavior, only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interest as defined by their own values, or “What’s in for me?” There are basically four motives of self-interest behind personal change. The first one is money; second is power; third, status; and fourth, relationships.
Money. Does money motivate people? Definitely. Up to a point. But how does it work in reference to the natural law? I think you’re all familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Shaped like a pyramid, at the bottom of that pyramid are our basic needs. We want food, we want shelter and if we don’t have those we will work real hard to get them. Once we have food and shelter, that’s not such a motivator anymore. We move a little higher on that chart, to maybe it’s a vacation we’d like to take now or have a nice car. Money buys all those things so money does motivate. But of course, the more we get those things the less we’re motivated by them and the less money becomes a motivator. So there must be something else.
Power, for instance. I guarantee you there are people on your team who would put in extra effort, make personal sacrifice for the opportunity to get promoted. That’s why they went to college. They want the challenge. They want the additional responsibility. It’s a powerful motivator for these people. And sometimes it’s just not the position, but they want that additional freedom and autonomy that can come with it. “I’m willing to work and I’m willing to work hard but I would love to have the flexibility to do it my way. Maybe work from home sometimes.” It’s power and the ability to have the autonomy that comes with that can be a powerful motivator.
Closely related to power, but different, is status. You see, you’ve got people who want status but not necessarily power. In fact, a lot of organizations have a special elite group that are recognized as the best — the best sales people, the best people in research and development or engineering. And these people get special status. They get different titles on their business cards, better offices, possibly a better company car, they get award trips. They find things like this incredibly meaningful. It may not give them power but it gives them status that’s important to them and that’s motivating.
And lastly, you’ve got relationships. I can assure you that you have peers on your team who will do things just because they want to be liked. They want to be accepted on the team. But it goes beyond just being popular. We recently interviewed some retired CEOs and one of the questions we asked them was, “Well, what is it that you took great pride in as you look back on your career?” Now these are people who had mergers, acquisitions, dynamic new product introductions. Almost invariability, they didn’t bring up those things. What they typically bring up is something involving people and relationships with those people. I can remember one instance in particular where a CEO said, “I can remember Phyllis when she didn’t know the difference between sales and marketing. Now she’s a vice president of sales and marketing. I take a lot of pride in that and what she has become.” Relationships can make a big change.
So what does it take for people to change? Well, first you have to know what matters to you. It’s easier to commit to change if you know what matters. If you can’t readily identify what matters then you won’t know when it’s threatened or when an opportunity arises. People change their ways when something they truly value is offered or threatened. It’s the natural law.
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Date: Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 7:32 AM
Subject: SmartByte Video of the Week
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Motivators for Personal Change
This week’s SmartByte™ features Mr. Bill Hawkins. Bill is the founder of Hawkins Consulting Group and a founding member of The Marshall Goldsmith Group. He is an expert in leadership development and executive coaching. Bill has coauthored four books on leadership development including the recently released What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – In Sales.
Mr. Hawkins is recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the “top ten executive educators” and by Forbes as one of the “five most respected executive coaches.” He has worked with large multinational organizations in seventeen countries. With his blend of consulting and management experience, Bill brings a breadth of understanding and insight to “real world” situations.
In this SmartByte™ Bill discusses how personal change is often driven by self interest – or what’s in it for me. He explains the four key motivators for self-change and their importance. This is a terrific lesson for anyone who is managing or leading others.
To view the video click on the following link, or copy and paste it into your browser. Feel free to share this SmartByte with others or post it on your website by copying and pasting the link into your own communications.
Link expires on May 9th, so please share it with others soon.