Monday, June 1, 2015

The Secret of Effective Motivation

The Secret of Effective Motivation

Article by: Amy Wrzesniewski & Barry Schwartz.
THERE are two kinds of motive for engaging in any activity: internal and instrumental. If a scientist conducts research because she wants to discover important facts about the world, that’s an internal motive, since discovering facts is inherently related to the activity of research. If she conducts research because she wants to achieve scholarly renown, that’s an instrumental motive, since the relation between fame and research is not so inherent. Often, people have both internal and instrumental motives for doing what they do.
What mix of motives — internal or instrumental or both — is most conducive to success? You might suppose that a scientist motivated by a desire to discover facts and by a desire to achieve renown will do better work than a scientist motivated by just one of those desires. Surely two motives are better than one. But as we and our colleagues argue in a paper newly published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, instrumental motives are not always an asset and can actually be counterproductive to success.
We analyzed data drawn from 11,320 cadets in nine entering classes at the United States Military Academy at West Point, all of whom rated how much each of a set of motives influenced their decision to attend the academy. The motives included things like a desire to get a good job later in life (an instrumental motive) and a desire to be trained as a leader in the United States Army (an internal motive).
How did the cadets fare, years later? And how did their progress relate to their original motives for attending West Point?
We found, unsurprisingly, that the stronger their internal reasons were to attend West Point, the more likely cadets were to graduate and become commissioned officers. Also unsurprisingly, cadets with internal motives did better in the military (as evidenced by early promotion recommendations) than did those without internal motives and were also more likely to stay in the military after their five years of mandatory service — unless (and this is the surprising part) they also had strong instrumental motives.
Remarkably, cadets with strong internal and strong instrumental motives for attending West Point performed worse on every measure than did those with strong internal motives but weak instrumental ones. They were less likely to graduate, less outstanding as military officers and less committed to staying in the military.
The implications of this finding are significant. Whenever a person performs a task well, there are typically both internal and instrumental consequences. A conscientious student learns (internal) and gets good grades (instrumental). A skilled doctor cures patients (internal) and makes a good living (instrumental). But just because activities can have both internal and instrumental consequences does not mean that the people who thrive in these activities have both internal and instrumental motives.
Our study suggests that efforts should be made to structure activities so that instrumental consequences do not become motives. Helping people focus on the meaning and impact of their work, rather than on, say, the financial returns it will bring, may be the best way to improve not only the quality of their work but also — counter-intuitive though it may seem — their financial success.
There is a temptation among educators and instructors to use whatever motivational tools are available to recruit participants or improve performance. If the desire for military excellence and service to country fails to attract all the recruits that the Army needs, then perhaps appeals to “money for college,” “career training” or “seeing the world” will do the job. While this strategy may lure more recruits, it may also yield worse soldiers. Similarly, for students uninterested in learning, financial incentives for good attendance or pizza parties for high performance may prompt them to participate, but it may result in less well-educated students.
The same goes for motivating teachers themselves. We wring our hands when they “teach to the test” because we fear that it detracts from actual educating. It is possible that teachers do this because of an over reliance on accountability that transforms the instrumental consequences of good teaching (things like salary bonuses) into instrumental motives. Accountability is important, but structured crudely, it can create the very behavior (such as poor teaching) that it is designed to prevent.
Rendering an activity more attractive by emphasizing both internal and instrumental motives to engage in it is completely understandable, but it may have the unintended effect of weakening the internal motives so essential to success.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Don’t Try to Manage Your Time – Manage Yourself!-By: John C. Maxwell

Don’t Try to Manage Your Time – Manage Yourself!-By: John C. Maxwell

Here’s an important announcement: There is no such thing as time management.
Think about it; the term is an oxymoron. Time cannot be managed. It cannot be controlled in any way. Everyone gets the same number of hours and minutes every day. Nobody—no matter how shrewd—can save minutes from one day to spend on another. No scientist—no matter how smart—is capable of creating new minutes. Even with all his wealth, someone like Bill Gates can’t buy additional hours for his day. And even though people talk about trying to “find time,” they need to quit looking. There isn’t any extra lying around. Twenty-four hours is the best any of us is going to get. You can’t manage your time. So what can you do?
Manage yourself! Nothing separates successful people from unsuccessful people more than how they use their time. Successful people understand that time is the most precious commodity on earth. And that we all have an equal amount, packed into identical suitcases. So even though everyone’s suitcase is the same size, they get a higher return on the contents of theirs. Why? They know what to pack.
Essayist Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It is not enough to be busy. The question is, ‘What are we busy about?’” How do you judge whether something is worthy of your time and attention? For years I used this formula to help me know the importance of a task so that I can manage myself effectively. It’s a three step process:

1. Rate the task in terms of Importance.

  • Critical = 5 points
  • Necessary = 4 points
  • Important = 3 points
  • Helpful = 2 points
  • Marginal = 1 point

2. Determine the task’s urgency.

  • This month = 5 points
  • Next month = 4 points
  • This quarter = 3 points
  • Next quarter = 2 points
  • End of year = 1 point

3. Multiply the rate of importance times the rate of urgency.

  • Example: 5 (critical) x 4 (next month) = 20.
After assigning each task a new number, make a new to-do list. This time list everything from highest to lowest task management score. THAT’S how you plan your day. How you spend your time is an important question not only for you but for your team. People tend to take their cues from the leader when it comes to time management—so make sure there’s a match between your actions, your business priorities, and your team’s activities.
Article by: John C. Maxwell.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Live2Lead: A Chance to Serve Your People and Your Community-By: John C. Maxwell

Live2Lead: A Chance to Serve Your People and Your Community-By: John C. Maxwell

What’s your highest calling as a leader? Well, I believe it’s being a servant leader. I often teach that leaders ask the question, “Will I help people?” But servant leaders ask, “HOW will I help people?” When you’re a servant leader, you do so much more than just make people a priority. You look for specific opportunities to serve them and help them reach their potential.
In my own leadership journey, I’ve made servant leadership my goal for many years. And as my influence has increased, I’ve pursued many specific opportunities to serve those who hear me speak and read my books, so that they can grow into who they were created to be.
If you’re a leader, don’t just settle the question of IF you’ll serve others. Figure out HOW you will, and then go do it. By being a servant leader, you’ll have the joy of seeing positive outcomes and great growth in your people. It will be worth the effort.
Because of my desire to serve you, I want to make you aware of one great opportunity to serve the people under your leadership and in your community. This fall, The John Maxwell Company will host our Live2Lead event. A worldwide event, it will be broadcast live on October 9, 2015, and will be available for different hosts to either share it live or on a later date. This is where you might want to come in as a leader. Hosting a Live2Lead event in your community will offer the people you lead an amazing chance to learn and apply leadership principles to their lives.
And besides helping those who follow your leadership, hosting a Live2Lead site will allow you to offer something of great value to the people in your community. Think of the ways this could expand your network, letting you add value to people you haven’t even met yet.
This half-day event features my teaching, along with that of the following incredible leadership communicators: Patrick Lencioni, Valorie Burton, and Kevin Turner. Each speaker will deliver relevant content that will equip attendees to take next steps of growth as leaders. And at only half a day, the event lends itself to both learning and application, as people walk away prepared to implement a new action plan, so they can start leading when they get back to the office with renewed passion and commitment.
As a host, you will receive a license to either show the event live on October 9, 2015, or broadcast it at a date of your choosing (between October 16 and January 31, 2016). You will be able to use the event name (Live2Lead: [your location]) in marketing the experience, along with the association with The John Maxwell Company and me. And you will receive continuous support, from resources like our Simulcast Advisory Committee and a closed Facebook group. Plus, you’ll have all the freedom of being in charge of your event, deciding everything from the date and time, to ticket pricing, funding, and promotion.
All of this and more is available for a single flat fee. Hosting Live2Lead will give you the opportunity to grow your network, develop your people, and connect with your community. I hope you’ll join us in hosting this fall.
For more information, please go to Live2Lead Hosting and share your contact information. You will be contacted personally by one of my Live2Lead consultants, who will answer all of your questions and more about the Live2Lead experience.
Article by: John C. Maxwell.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Attract Happiness and Good Fortune- by Napoleon Hill

Attract Happiness and Good Fortune- by Napoleon Hill

Remember, every person lives in two worlds: the world of his own mental attitude, which is greatly influenced by his associates and his surroundings, and the physical world in which he must struggle for a living. The physical world in which you make a living may be beyond your control, but you can, to a great extent, shape the circumstances of your immediate physical world. It can be done by the way you relate yourself to your mental world, for your mental attitude attracts to you those aspects of the physical world which harmonize with your mental attitude. Thus, pessimism will attract misery and ill fortune. But enthusiasm, properly controlled, will attract happiness and good fortune.
Enthusiasm is a great leavening force in your mental world, for it gives power to your purpose. It helps to free your mind of negative influences and brings you peace of mind. It wakens your imagination and stirs you to shape the circumstances of your physical world to meet your own needs.
But no amount of enthusiasm can replace definiteness of purpose. A man without a definite major purpose resembles a locomotive without a track to run on, or a destination toward which to travel. And if he lacks enthusiasm to back his definite major purpose, he is like a locomotive without fuel.
Enthusiasm may be expressed in two ways: passively, through the stimulation of emotional feeling which inspires you to meditate and think in silence; and actively, by the expression of such feeling through words and deeds.
Source:  PMA Science of Success. Educational Edition. The Napoleon Hill Foundation. 1983. Pg. 250.
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Monday, May 18, 2015

What Wouldst Thou Have?-by Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone

What Wouldst Thou Have?-by Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone

What wouldst thou have? “What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy slave—I and the other slaves of the lamp,” said the genie.
Awaken the sleeping giant within you! It is more powerful than all the genii of Aladdin’s lamp! The genii are fictional. Your sleeping giant is real.
What wouldst thou have? Love? Good health? Success? Friends? Money? A home? A car? Recognition? Peace of mind? Courage? Happiness? Or, would you make your world a better world in which to live? The sleeping giant within you has the power to bring your wishes into reality.
What wouldst thou have? Name it and it’s yours. Awaken the sleeping giant within you! How?
Think. Think with a positive mental attitude.
Now the sleeping giant, like the genie, must be summoned with magic. But you possess this magic. The magic is your talisman, with the symbols PMA on one side and NMA on the other. The characteristics of PMA are the plus characteristics symbolized by such words as faith, hope, honesty, and love.
Source:  Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude. Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1960. Pgs.234-235.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Successful People Know About Winning-by: John C. Maxwell (Part #2/2)

What Successful People Know About Winning-by: John C. Maxwell (Part #2/2)

3. Losses Create a Gap between I Should and I Did

Winning creates a positive cycle in our lives. When we win, we gain confidence. The more confidence we have, the more likely we are to take action when it’s needed. That inclination to move from knowing to acting often brings success.
However, losing can also create a cycle in our lives—a negative one. Losses, especially when they pile up, can lead to insecurity. When we are insecure, we doubt ourselves. It causes us to hesitate when making decisions. Even if we know what we should do, we are reluctant to do it. When such a gap is created and isn’t overcome, success becomes nearly impossible. If we want to be successful, we need to bridge that gap.

4. The First Loss Often Isn’t the Biggest Loss

When we experience a loss, we have a choice. If we immediately respond to it the right way, the loss becomes smaller to us. However, if we respond the wrong way, or if we fail to respond at all, that loss becomes greater. And it often leads to other losses. As the subsequent losses come at us, they seem to become bigger and bigger, crashing over us like waves in a violent storm. As the number of losses goes up, our self-confidence goes down.
We make matters worse when we compare ourselves to others, because we rarely do so on a level playing field. We either compare our best, including our good intentions, to someone else’s worst, or we compare our worst to someone else’s best. That can lead to a negative cycle of self-talk. And the more negative it becomes, the larger our losses appear to be to us. If our self-talk is angry, destructive, or guilt producing, we become even less capable of breaking free of the negative cycle.
If we can overcome an early loss and not let it become magnified, that can help us move forward. That’s not always easy to do, but even someone who has faced a very great loss can learn to do it.

5. Losses Never Leave Us the Same

The number or severity of your losses isn’t as important as how you experience those losses. Yes, all losses hurt. And they make an impact on us, an impact that is rarely positive. Losses change us. But we must not allow them to control us. We can’t let the fear of looking silly or incompetent paralyze us. We can’t let the fear of negative consequences keep us from taking risks. Allowing negative experiences of the past to warp your future is like living in a coffin. It puts a lid on you and can end your life.
How does one minimize the negative damage of debilitating losses? First, by letting them go emotionally. If we want to overcome adversity and keep from being defeated by our losses, we need to get past them. And then we need to learn from them!

Successful People Turn a Loss into a Gain

If you’re going to lose—and you are because everyone does—then why not turn it into a gain? How do you do that? By learning from it. A loss isn’t totally a loss if you learn something as a result of it. Your losses can come to define you if you let them. If you stay where a loss leaves you, then eventually you can get stuck there. But you can choose to change, grow, and learn from your losses.
That, of course, is not necessarily easy. A loss doesn’t turn into a lesson unless we work hard to make it so. Losing gives us an opportunity to learn, but many people do not seize it. And when they don’t, losing really hurts.
Learning is not easy during down times, because it requires us to do things that are not natural. It is hard to smile when we are not happy. It is difficult to respond positively when numb with defeat. It takes discipline to do the right thing when everything is going wrong. How can we be emotionally strong when we are emotionally exhausted? How will we face others when we are humiliated? How do we get back up when we are continually knocked down?
I wrote How Successful People Win to answer these and other questions about learning from losses, because I believe it can help you win. Most of us need someone to help us figure out how to do that. If that is your desire—to become a learner from losses—you need to change the way you look at losses, cultivate qualities that help you respond to them, and develop the ability to learn from them. I believe you can do that using this road map:
Cultivate Humility: The Spirit of Learning
Face Reality: The Foundation of Learning
Accept Responsibility: The First Step of Learning
Seek Improvement: The Focus of Learning
Nurture Hope: The Motivation of Learning
Develop Teachability: The Pathway of Learning
Overcome Adversity: The Catalyst for Learning
Expect Problems: Opportunities for Learning
Understand Bad Experiences: The Perspective for Learning
Embrace Change: The Price of Learning
Benefit from Maturity: The Value of Learning
My primary goal in life is adding value to people. I hope this book will add value to you, teaching you how to learn from your losses. That’s how successful people win!
Adapted from How Successful People Win (May 12, 2015)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What Successful People Know About Winning-by: John C. Maxwell (Part #1/2)

 What Successful People Know About Winning-by: John C. Maxwell (Part #1/2)

My friend Robert Schuller once asked, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” That’s a great question, an inspiring question. When most people hear it, they start dreaming. They are motivated to reach for their goals and to risk more.
I have a question that I think is just as important: What do you learn when you fail?
While people are usually ready to talk about their dreams, they are less prepared to answer a question about their shortcomings. Most people don’t like to talk about their mistakes and failures. They don’t want to confront their losses. They are embarrassed by them. And when they do find themselves falling short, they may find themselves saying something trite, such as “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.” The message is, “Hope to win, expect to lose, and live with the results either way.”
What’s wrong with that? It’s not how winners think!
Successful people know the way to turn a setback into a step forward. How? They don’t try to brush failure under the rug. They don’t run away from their losses. They learn from them. Every time. They understand that life’s greatest lessons are gained from our losses—if we approach them the right way. Mistakes are acceptable as long as the damage isn’t too great. Or as they say in Texas, “It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill as long as you don’t lose your cow!”

Why Losses Hurt So Much

In life, sometimes you do win. But other times you get knocked down. The key is to figure out why you got knocked down, learn from it, get back up, and move forward. That’s how successful people win.
Have you ever heard someone use the phrase “It’s only a game”? I bet if you have, it was from someone who was losing. Nobody likes to lose. Think of some of the losses in your life and how they made you feel. Not good. And it’s not just the pain of the moment that affects us. Our losses also cause us other difficulties. Here are a few:

1. Losses Cause Us to Be Emotionally Stuck

Author and speaker Les Brown says, “The good times we put in our pocket. The bad times we put in our heart.” I have found that to be true in my life. In my heart I still carry some of the bad times. I bet you do, too. The negative experiences affect us more deeply than positive ones, and if you’re like me, you may get emotionally stuck. Anxiety and fear are debilitating emotions for the human heart. So are losses. They can weaken, imprison, paralyze, dishearten, and sicken us. To be successful, we need to find ways to get unstuck emotionally.

2. Losses Cause Us to Be Mentally Defeated

It cannot be denied that our lives are filled with loss. Over the course of our adult lives, we lose jobs and positions. Our self-esteem may take a beating. We lose money. We miss opportunities. Friends and family die. And I don’t even want to talk about some of the physical losses we experience with advancing age! Some losses are large; some are small. And the losses we face affect our mental health. Some people handle it well, while others don’t.
The quality that distinguishes a successful person from an unsuccessful one who is otherwise like him is the capacity to manage disappointment and loss. Too often losing goes to our heads. It defeats us, and we have trouble coming up with solutions to our challenges. As the losses build up, they become more of a burden. We regret the losses of yesterday. We fear the losses of tomorrow. Regret saps our energy. We can’t build on regret. Fear for the future distracts us and fills us with apprehension.
We want success, but we should instead train for losses. We need to expect mistakes, failures, and losses in life, since each of us will face many of them. But we need to take them as they come, not allow them to build up.
This article is Part #1/2, and written by: John C. Maxwell.