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A Business Case for Optimal Motivation

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© 2016 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate. MK0800 • 030616 A Business Case for Optimal Motivation 1 PERSPECTIVES OPTIMAL MOTIVATION ® A Business Case for Optimal Motivation Motivation is widely regarded as a psychological state that compels an individual to act toward a desired goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal-directed behaviors. It can be considered a catalytic force or the energy to act upon or toward a desired goal. In fact, there are more than 100 definitions linked to the concept of motivation. But they share the same fatal flaw: They focus on the quantity of motivation a person has rather than the quality of motivation a person has. Thinking of motivation simply as the energy to act fails to take into account the essential nature of human motivation: the reasons people act. Motivation isn't a reflection of how much action people take, but why they are, or are not, taking action. This misunderstanding—that motivation is the quantity of energy people have to pursue a goal rather than the quality of their energy—leads to motivational practices that undermine the type of energy required for people to achieve goals while thriving in their pursuit. For example, if a salesperson is not succeeding in selling a certain product and your belief is that he needs more motivation, the default solution is to incentivize him. But, if you understand the nature of motivation, you will ask, "Why is this salesperson selling or not selling this product?"

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