Ep 108: Inspiration, Motivation & Coercion: Do leaders need to be great at all three?
No role place. Just real personal Renzo share four decades of combined experience to help you become a more effective leader. We've never really as a workforce, spent a lot of time on making sure developing good leaders will be able to share stories, experience of mistakes, failures, successes. This is packing your leadership. Welcome to hacking your leadership. I'm Chris in Lorenzo and the Renzo on this episode. I'd like to talk a little bit about motivation. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and we were talking about when professional sports team players go on strike, you know, for I don't get enough money. I want more money. Majorly. Baseball's had that a couple of times in in history when with salary caps and everything like that, and you gotta wonder, you know the what it took to get to that level was just thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of doing that thing for no pay at all or nothing in. There's no way to do that. Miss you love it. And so what happens when a person goes from loving something so much, they would do it for free to then saying, I'm not gonna use anymore unless you pay me, you know, thirty million dollars instead of twenty two million dollars or whatever it is, what what turns, you know. And obviously, you know, everybody knows about the different intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and. And how we are motivated by different things. And that kind of got me down a little rabbit hole. I started looking at some Forbes articles, and I found an article by an author by the name of dove side Ben. And he's the CEO of a company called learn l. r. n. and he, he works with companies on issues of motivation. And this article was kind of cool. It's it's over two years old, but I think it's incredibly relevant today where he talks about the three different ways of kind of motivating employees and how the the relationship between leaders and employees work and and the three words he uses in terms of being able to get things done our inspiration, motivation and coercion, and kind of the the real world example, I can think of how those things work is of. I think as a parent now, I have two young children and were sitting at the dinner table and there's vegetables on the plate. The the inspiration is each vegetables and you're going to be big and strong like mom and dad, you know, the motivation is each your vegetables and you can have dessert. The dinner and the coercion is eat your vegetables or you're going straight to bed after dinner, you know. And so the heat either might may work in that situation and and I think there are situations as apparent that definitely call for for all three, but but dove Simon makes an argument that in the work environment, the more you can kind of place in the inspiration, call them the better, and you not having to go into the categories of of motivation and and coercion. And I wholeheartedly agree on, but I also it also shut thinking about, is it possible to have it all live? There is a possible for leaders to get everything they need done from their employees soli through inspiration, or other times when a leader has to be good at, you know, the motivation through the through coercion do this, or you're going to lose your job. I if you, if you have to go to their, does that mean the relationship is already devolved the point where it's recoverable. I mean, what were your. Thoughts on this because I think there's a lot here and I, it's, I'm fascinated by this kind of work because I think it is. It's at the core of why we have such a lack of engagement in the American workforce is kind of rooted in the stuff yet. The short answer is, no, you can't just live in the inspiration world as as much as we would love to as many years as I have tried my best to to be in the inspiration element of things to be able to spend your time getting people in helping people to understand and believe in what they're doing, what you're doing with team is doing in why these things matter and why it's great for them and why it's great for the business wise great for your customers, clients community, that's a great place to be in. I think that over time being a leader in in constantly evolving changing in learning and developing yourself. F- you know, you tend to start to to lean more into that most of the time. And then that's in my opinion of really good leaders is that they really spend a good amount of time in that inspirational piece, and there's a lot of components to that, but I believe like you've got to be able to role model. You gotta be able to be consistent. A lot of things that we talked about in the podcast. I absolutely believe that there's many times though we're motivation is necessary Shum in in whether that's helping people connect the dots on how performance then equals opportunities for them. You know, if you if you sell more things, more widgets, more, this more that that you know your, your overall growth revenue goes up, which means that you typically hire more people and or give out more promotions, right? Like that's just how that part works. And that sometimes is required in regards to connecting with your people and talking to them. And I'm not a big fan of like the dangling carrot style motivation. You know, I just, I don't believe in that. I'm more. Of a realist and those types of situations. But I think motivation absolutely is necessary times and yet coercion. Absolutely. I think it's kinda like, look, if you can't come to work, then you no longer have to come to work and promoted customer. Yeah, because like it's it sometimes like sometimes people need that. Sometimes people in life. Sometimes I know you. Now we're talking about this earlier. Sometimes you play a role as a leader where you know you're, you're the place where people come in actually get real life transparent, honest feedback in the get tough love. Sometimes you know, you're, you're in a place where you kind of have to be the realistic and tell them how things work and explain things to them. And so I believe that you've got to be comfortable in all three, but, but you also have to know that like, you know, living in the inspiration side of things really is the best route of can do that most of the time. Yeah, I grew that fully. I tend to think younger leaders maybe try to remain in the inspirational more. You know, it's almost like do people become more cynical over time and they start to default to things that they think will work quicker or become more expedient, but it hurts them in the long run. So I think I think being able to being able to convey. Convince, honestly commitments where being able to gain followership from your people through inspiring them is something that takes effort and more effort than the other to the other two are are pretty easy. Like there's a, there's a one plus one equals two kind of equation there and either either at works or at dozen, but but the inspiration piece, there's a lot of nuance to it and every employee is different in how they will respond to it. Obviously, the results that come from success through inspiration will far surpass, the results that come from success through coercion or motivation. You know, just like a person who's convinced the eating vegetables is going to make them big and strong. We'll probably eat more of them quicker than a person who is, you know, doing out of coercion to not wanting to go to bed Rafter dinner, and they may struggle to get one or two down and until you give up Cy fine, you've eaten enough, you know. And so just from from a simple results oriented standpoint, people who are able to mow. People are able to get the results through that inspiration piece. I think the results are better. There's no question about that. I think that's probably pretty obvious to, so if a leader has resulted too, so if a leader has resorted to going to the the motivation piece or the coercion piece, does it mean that they've tried the inspiration piece? Does it mean that they don't think it'll work? Doesn't mean they forgot how to do it? Does it mean that they don't know how to articulate themselves doesn't mean they're not bought into the mission of their organization so much so that they can't even articulate to their people. I mean, what? What would cause a leader in the face of knowing that going through inspiration is the way to get the best results? Why would a leader default to the other two because sometimes easier, honestly, like like really like when you're looking to inspire people in teams, it's it's heavy lifting because you have to use the lead from the front and you've got a role model in. You've got to be on your game, and you've got to give them a reason to want to believe. Steve, and it takes a lot of a lot of work like I as you were talking, I was thinking like, what are the? What are the, what are the terms or phrases or red flags things? One of the things that that I hear or that pop up when people just skip the inspiration in the first thing that popped in my mind was like, oh, well, we need to to create buying in. We need to, you know what's in it for them. We need to tie it to why this is important and lecture. This is kind of like remember, invasion. Ovation for me. Exactly. Right. Like go right into the motivation piece or they sailed like, well, all like this ridiculous. Like that's just their job that you've now gone right into right. Like like you've skipped now two different levels. Now you're in coercion. So I was saying that's just their job. What the implication is if they don't do it, they don't have a job, correct. The implication, but I will also tell you this, you know, my name is Lorenzo floors, and I am guilty as charged kiss many, many times. My first reaction sometimes to to, you know, conversations or two people ask about why things are the way they are or what do we need to do to get things done. My things like, well, let's just somebody's like dishes their job. We, we've got to fix this because that's actually what you know. We pay people to go do. So. Yeah. So that may be an initial reaction or thought, but the real work say like the the real true heavy lifting is like, okay, well, if they either don't know that that's. It's their job or if they don't have something that is motivating them to want to go on and do it and do well. Well, it's probably because I'm lacking inspiration piece. I probably have not done a good enough job as a leader to tie in the larger vision and to help them understand collectively how this thing or the strategy is beneficial for all parties involved. But more importantly, it's allied with what we're trying to accomplish as a team. Right? So forgive me for sound like a broken record here because I've said this in several episodes in the past, but I think it has a lot to do with how the relationship is between the leader and the employees already, meaning you can't inspire somebody who doesn't already trust you and who doesn't already think you have their best interests at heart who doesn't already think that you care about them as their leader. And so if a if a leader is is trying to inspire somebody, they've just met, that's probably not gonna work. And so I think when leaders don't do that is because. They don't have the relationships. So when you said that you're guilty as charged that you've resorted to even starting with coercion. The first thing I thought was, okay, I've done that too. One of I done that. What given let me think of examples in my life where I have started with the coercion, peace and everyone I can think of is when I have no relationship with the person I've written them off in my mind. I think there there's no hope for them. They they're not a good employee. I want them to go away. So I don't even have the the the willpower or or the ability to try to inspire this person. It would come off disingenuous because I don't know how to inspire this person out of a relationship with them. And so I start with the coercion piece because at the end of the day, I I'm not gonna lose sleep over this, they're they're going to do their job, but they're not, and they're going to be gone. And when it comes to people whom with whom I have a relationship people, I care about people. I want to see succeed. It takes a whole lot to get down to that coercion piece. I've said in an episode over a year ago. Now I from a leader that I respect very much the. The career conversations I've had with people have to start with two questions. Do you know why this organization exists? And do you? Are you inspired by it? Because if you haven't level set that if the person isn't inspired by it or or doesn't know it, how can you even hope to inspire them to act? You're kind of, you know, fighting the wrong battle. You have to go back a few steps and learn how to crawl first before you can start that that walking journey. Yeah, I think something that you know in talking about like are you inspired by that in inspiration? You know, that is a very different thing than motivation and coercion. And what I mean by that is coercion is used to, you know, kind of change behavior or or shift behavior, motivation. Same thing, you know, I, I'm, I'm dangling this thing out for you or I'm I'm texting you to what's in it for you in those types things. So again, you're, you're changing shifting behavior. I think. The inspiration piece is such that the person is changing behavior for themselves and in their showing up because they're choosing to maybe hold themselves accountable to show up at a different level. They are. They're, they're seeing something in you and they're saying like, well, we'll, there's a larger mission here. There's there's a bigger y, you know, there's a bigger reason as to why I want to do this. So again, it's kind of like that heavy lifting peace into your point around like the trust and the relationships and all this type of deal. I think from an inspiration element of it, like when that's truly happening, somebody is inspired to challenge themselves to show up differently versus I'm going to change my behavior because there's something in it for me or I'm going to change my behavior because if I don't, there is a consequence for, you know, like those are very, very different things. In like, that's why I was saying, I think that the reason why many leaders, you know, we'll skip over that space or maybe we'll default to the others is because it is very hard to truly inspire people in. If I was to ask, you know anybody. If I, you know you anybody else to say like, hey, you know, give me the top three people in your life that have inspired you. You might be able to name two of them very quickly. In the third in the nafter three, you might be like it's a stretch now, right? Because in in real life, having that many people that truly inspire you, that's that's not that common. So I think that that's just something to keep in mind is that inspiration really and truly is a different way. It's a more challenging thing to do as a leader to get people to feel inspired. Yeah, I think this is part of the human condition though. This isn't just when it comes to. Leaders in employs in work environments. It extends naturally that because we're talking about relationships here, but I think it's innate in all of us. So the example about the the getting children vegetables because the the same exact concepts apply here. And then I think about also, I don't have any experience with this in terms of somebody. I know personally, but I've read enough stories heard enough stories about drug addicts and former drug addicts and how they talk about when they decided to change when they decided to, you know, put down the meth or whatever it was and get clean. It wasn't a fear of going to jail because they went to jail several times. It wasn't a fear of losing their jobs. They've lost jobs that it wasn't a fear of losing their families. They all their their wives and husbands left them a long time ago. Their children have have are strange for them. They've lost everything and they still kept going. Something else had to change. And they always they characterize it as I hit rock bottom and rock bottom is different for each person, but either way what that what that is a a metaphor for is something happened within me. It became no longer about the external motiva-. Nations, the coercion, trying to avoid pain or or consequences or being paid to do it, you know, they, they've all been bribed by their parents and their loved ones. I'll do anything for if you just stop. None of it worked something had to change within them for them to start on that journey back to health and the ones that made it back. It's because they found what that thing was. The other things didn't work. They didn't work at all. And so it like I said, I think it's part of what's inside all of us. And so whether it's stopping somebody from taking drugs or or eating vegetables at dinner table or getting their absolute best out of them, their highest level of performance and engagement in job, it has to come from within or it's not gonna come completely agree. And with that brings us to this episode's one minute. Attack. The one minute hag. Okay. For this episode's woman hack, this is going to be a little bit of reflection and journaling here. So get your pen and paper, and I want you to divide a landscape sheet of paper into three columns at the top. I want you to write the the words, coercion, motivation, and inspiration. When I want you to do is think of an example of a time when you had a conversation with a leader of yours that fell under each of those three right down the the details of those specific events and what happened and how you got to the results and look back at the the results that you did, how you performed in those particular instances based on what you gave, what you'll what you'll find is that the results you gave were better as you moved up the scale coercion. We'll have the lower results. Motivation will have kind of mediocre results. And then if you were inspired to do something, you'll typically see very high results. And then I want you to on the exact same piece of paper. I want you to think about the last three performance counseling sessions. You had with people that report to you? Think about what was that the tactics you used in those. Performance counseling sessions. Do they fall mostly under the category of you? Inspire this person to get better or to change the behavior, you motivated them to get better chance to behavior or you coerced them into change in a behavior getting better and do some self reflection on if the, if those three performance counseling sessions fell more heavily weighted towards the coercion side. You can see right off the bat that you're not gonna get the results that you're looking for. If they lean more heavily towards the inspiration side, then you're well on your way to, you know, motivating people in the correct way. If you if you have a practice of doing this before you go into your next performance counseling session, you will undoubtedly kind of default towards the higher end of that scale towards the inspirational side because you have to be cognizant of what you're doing in the words you're using when you have these conversations. I think it's a great woman hack, and you know, I, it's one of those things where the element of self reflection and thinking about how you show up for your people and then. Then how do you change your own behavior to show them differently? I think will lead down the path of truly inspiring them in a way that then allows them to show up for their people in a different way as well in that type of cultural cascade throughout the entire team. Yeah, it's it's the first step in role modeling. If you can't expect people to do it for their people, if you can't do it for them, and we will post a link to that Forbes article from dove Seidman in the podcast description as well. Absolutely. And with that, it brings us to the end of this episode. This hacking your leadership, I'm Lorenzo, and I'm Chris and we'll talk to you all next time.