5 truths about motivation



1) It’s intrinsic, not extrinsic. That’s why the idea of being (or hiring) a “motivational speaker” is so ludicrous and ineffective.

2) More money isn’t the point. The way people think they will feel or be perceived by others after they buy or do something with the extra money - that might be the point.

3) Accomplishing missions and hitting goals are not motivating in themselves. They are just the means to a much more important end – validation and a sense of self-worth.

4) Motivating people to do anything is about making them understand a) what’s in it for them and b) why it’s important to others.

5) Autonomy and empowerment to make decisions are more motivating than perks.


And remember, any version of “Because I said so!” is about as likely to work with your employees as it is with your kids.


Copyright Hamish Mackenzie, 2022