Monday, May 25, 2015

Is Intrinsic Motivation more Important than Extrinsic Motivation?” ―Professor M.S.Rao

“Managers do not motivate employees by giving them higher wages, more benefits or new status symbols. Rather, employees are motivated by their own inherent need to succeed at a challenging task. The manager’s job then is not to motivate people to get them to achieve; instead, the manager should provide opportunities for people to achieve so they will become motivated.” ―Frederick Herzberg

There are two types of motivation – intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes within the individuals to perform well while the extrinsic motivation comes from external support. Some individuals have inner power to grow while some need external power to grow. All individuals need these two types of motivation. The individuals with very high will power also get upset in some situations. Hence, they depend on external influence and support. When we look at several great leaders they were influenced by their mentors, coaches, gurus and guides. At the same time, these leaders have fire within them to grow. Some leaders have X factor that drives them to move forward.

DeAnne Rosenberg in her book Management's Fatal Flaw distinguishes between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation with examples as follows: the extrinsic motivators are: salary, benefits package, working conditions, company policies & rules, supervision, security and interpersonal relations. The intrinsic motivators are: challenge, achievement, recognition for achievement, interest in the job, responsibility for the work, personal & career growth and promotion & advancement.

Passion and Intrinsic Motivation

"The man who does not work for the love of work but only for money is not likely to neither make money nor find much fun in life." ―Charles M. Schwab

There are people who work to earn recognition and rewards from others which indicates extrinsic motivation. In contrast, there are people who work to please themselves regardless of rewards and recognition which indicates intrinsic motivation.  Coon & Mitterer said, "Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials."  Those who are passionate about have intrinsic motivation because they do what they love to do. They don’t do activities to please others. They do to please themselves and to unlock their potential. They don’t look for rewards from others.  Leaders like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington had intrinsic motivation. They were unmoved by shocks and setbacks.  They moved forward because they did what they were passionate about due to their intrinsic motivation.

Does Money Motivate Employees?

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game." ―Donald Trump

Money does play a crucial role to motivate employees to some extent. But what motivates employees is undertaking challenging roles and responsibilities to bring out the best and enhance their confidence levels to grow as leaders.  DeAnne Rosenberg in her book Management's Fatal Flaw asserts that although extrinsic constraints (such as the promise of a reward upon completion) seem to increase performance in the short run, in the long run, they kill an individual’s interest in the work and make it impossible for him/her to approach the task creatively ever again.


“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ―Confucius

It is essential to work for your satisfaction first and then for the satisfaction of others. You must provide meaning to your life first to provide meaning to others’ lives. Don’t do what others do. Do what you are passionate about. To conclude, emphasize intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic motivation to unlock your potential to grow as leader and provide meaning to your life.

"The only lifelong, reliable motivations are those that come from within, and one of the strongest of those is the joy and pride that grow from knowing that you've just done something as well as you can do it." ―Lloyd Dobens and Clare Crawford-Mason

Management's Fatal Flaw by DeAnne Rosenberg (Tate Publishing, September 9, 2014)

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
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21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL: http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Leaders-ebook/dp/B00AK98ELI

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