Motivator in Chief: Getting the Most from Your Team

May 2022 | Nano Tools | Senior Leadership

Motivator in Chief: Getting the Most from Your Team

Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.

The Goal

Increase motivation by incentivizing, developing, and structuring work better for those you manage.

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One of managers’ primary responsibilities is motivating their teams to do their best work — and feel a sense of fulfillment in the process. A motivated team is a highly engaged one; its members are better at handling uncertainty, solving problems, and applying high levels of creativity and innovation to their work. They’re also much more likely to stick around.

Motivation can be driven by intrinsic reasons (e.g., a desire to learn or be challenged) or by extrinsic ones (e.g., a desire to gain status or earn a financial bonus). Not every team member is going to be motivated in the same way, and the role of a manager is to discover team members’ motivation preferences and then meet those preferences.

That role becomes significantly less complicated by using psychologist David McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory, which identifies three needs (achievement, power, and affiliation) that correlate with how an individual is motivated, particularly at work. While everyone is driven by a combination of these needs, most of us have a dominant motivator. Determining
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