Motivate Me – What’s It Going to Take?

Fran Tarkenton – ‘People don’t change their behavior unless it makes a difference for them to do so.’

Motivation – Last week, we looked at the fact people are being watched. The discussion was based on a work situation of a potential secret evaluator coming to the hotel property. They never came. But something interesting was observed – motivation by fear. Almost all regular employees were worked up to make sure everything was right. It was not based on the pride in doing our best. There was no motivation by reward or intrinsic value. Basically, it was to not be caught doing anything wrong and thus reduce our score.

Yesterday, my second job had an employee meeting. Most of it was a preview of Summer offerings and some Q&A on POS procedures. But woven through it was strong push on motivation – broken down into two aspects. The first was a managerial vision of basic operation strategy – a motivation based on shared vision from management. And second – a new motivational strategy based on points being added and subtracted. I felt I was at a mini-Hogwarts, sitting in the great hall that serves magical chicken nuggets, with points given and taken by the heads of households. And the negative points outnumbered the positive almost 3 to 1. It was focused on consequences heavily over rewards (I am not sure if that was the intent, but that was my perception.)

I felt I was at a mini-Hogwarts,
sitting in the great hall that serves magical chicken nuggets,
with points given and taken by the heads of households

Now don’t get me wrong, fear is great motivator. We love rewards – but we really don’t want to get hit with harsh consequences. But is that the best motivator? Was my mindset so focused on consequences that it was that aspect on which I was focused?

Over the next several days – I want to look at some aspects of motivation. There are different philosophies to approaching the study of motivation. We will see some of them; and maybe, we will take a look inside ourselves and see what we let motivate us.

For you see, one thing was consistent. Motivational strategy is very individualistic. You might see sweeping strokes – like rewards and consequences, or self esteem – but each person is motivated in a distinctive ways.

Let me give a very important illustration – on what do we focus when we share the Gospel of Jesus? We could focus on escaping hell (motivated by fear), getting into heaven (motivated by reward), what are we going to get out of accepting Jesus (motivated by pay), finding hope and peace (motivated by security), and so on. And while aspects of each of these are important, when understood in proper Biblical perspective, if we try to use all of them in one setting, it might be a bit overwhelming. And so, while we are building relationships, and always looking for opportunities to share God’s love, each person will respond to different approaches in different ways.

So join me for a couple days and let’s see where this takes us. (See, motivated by curiosity) And tomorrow – What motivates a kid to listen to and obey their parents – and how that connects to our listening to and obeying our heavenly father.






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