What Motivates You?

There are two prominent views on motivation.

One view from the paper “Theory of the firm” argues that money is the sole motivator; people act in alignment with how they’re compensated.

If you want to create more value for shareholders, compensate executives based on how they’re increasing the bottom line.

However, this reduces management to an oversimplified formula.

Careful inspection, courtesy of the delightful complications known as humans, finds cracks in the foundation in the form of numerous anomalies.

For example, why do we see many of the hardest working, motivated people work in low earning fields like nonprofits, education, and the military?

What motivates these people if it’s clearly not money?

This leads us to the second view “Motivation theory”, proposed by Frederick Herzberg.

This theory states, you can use incentives to pay people to strive after what you want, but incentives are not the same as motivation.

Motivation is when people internally want something.

Motivators can be challenging work, recognition, responsibility, and personal growth.

This is not something you can predetermine for someone but must be answered on an individual basis from looking within.

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash.

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