Leading for Optimal Motivation

Research in the fields of social, positive, and industrial/organizational psychology has repeatedly found that employees thrive best in work environments that allow them to think for themselves, and to construct and implement decisions for one course of action or another based on their own thinking and volition.  The research is also clear that we suffer…

A Mini Case Study on Motivation

Can you determine at least three important take-aways in this story from a plant manager in India who recently learned the skill of conducting Motivational Outlook Conversations? On his first day back after his training, the plant manager noticed a Technical Service Executive in the lab having a discussion with an external contractor. While she…

5 questions to create a customer service mindset in your people

If you want to drive great external customer service start by providing great internal customer service. Last week, I was invited to Orlando to deliver a speech at one of the Disney resorts. I had been working and traveling all week and showed up at 11:00 p.m. I was greeted at the car by Loren,…

Employee Motivation–why it matters

A client asked me yesterday, “Why are you so interested in writing about optimal and suboptimal motivation?  All managers care about is productivity, accountability, and results—isn’t it like pushing water uphill with a toothpick,” he asked. Beyond absolutely loving that visual, the question really caught me. How often to do you hear someone ask you why…

Are you only half the leader you could be? See if you have this limiting self-belief

In their latest post for Fast Company online, management experts Scott and Ken Blanchard share that, “One of the big mistakes we see among otherwise promising managers is the self-limiting belief that they have to choose between results and people, or between their own goals and the goals of others. We often hear these people say,…

A Glimmer of Hope: When Leaders Get It Right

I just arrived back from beautiful Fujairah—one of the northernmost emirates in the UAE—where we held the final module of six in a 15-month leadership development curriculum for a global technology company. The total program included modules around personality, values, organization vision and alignment, leadership style, high performing teams, change management, and motivation—the gamut. This…

4 Common Mistakes Managers Make When Goal Setting (and 3 ways to fix it)

Performance expert John Hester identifies four common mistakes that managers make when they set goals for employees in the latest issue of Ignite!  The negative result is poor or misaligned performance, accountability issues, blame and resentment—not to mention countless hours spent reviewing tasks and redoing work. Wondering if you might be making some of these…

The Key to Making Workplace Resolutions More Resolute

Which of the following statement(s) best describe(s) you when it comes to New Year’s resolutions at work? Don’t set them—it is a waste of time Set them—and it is a waste of time because I don’t take them seriously Set them, take them seriously, but am regularly disappointed in myself Set them, take them seriously,…

Do you have a service friendly culture? 5 questions to ask yourself

Service in the airline industry is kind of a wash in my opinion, but I want to tell you about an exception—Southwest Airlines.  Here’s a recent travel experience that I think speaks volumes about the service focused culture that Southwest has created. The line at curbside check-in was very long and the baggage handler didn’t…