What is Your Motivation

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A small set of motives, present to some extent in all people, helps explain how leaders behave. The motives generate needs, which lead to aspirations, which in turn drive behaviour.


When this motive is aroused in them, leaders experience a need to improve their personal performance and meet or exceed standards of excellence. As result, they wish to meet or surpass a self-imposed standard, accomplish something new and plan the long-term advancement of their careers, ofcourse these aspirations will lead them to micromanage, try to do things or set the pace themselves, express impatience with poor performers. These leaders give little positive feedback, give few directions or instructions, cut corners and focus on goals and outcomes rather than people.


Leaders, when this motives aroused in them, they maintain close friendly relationships and as a result, they wish to establish, restore, or maintain warm relationsips be liked and accepted. They participate in group activities, primarily for social reasons. These aspirations also lead leaders to avoid confrontation, worry more about people than performance, looking for ways to create more harmony and thereby, avoid giving negative feedback.


This power motive can also be categories into two:

  • Personalized Power
  • Socialized Power

Personalized Power

When this motive is aroused in them, the leaders experince a need to be strong and influence others, making them feel weak, perform powerful actions that control, influence, or persuade people to impress people inside or outside the ccompany. They generate strong positve or negative emotions in others and maintain their reputations, position or strength. these aspirations will lead them to be coercive, ruthless and control or manipulate others. To manage up- that is, focus more on making a good impressions than on managing their subordinates and they only look out for their own interests and reputions

Specialized Power

The leaders on this note tend to be helping people feel stronger and more capable and as a result they perform powerdul actions, persuade people to do something reasonable. The with motives of specialized power impress people both inside and outside the company, generate strong positve emotions in others and also maintain their reputions, positions or strength. They give help, advice, or support people and these aspirations leads to coaching and teaching, be democratic and involve others to participate by highly supportive. These type of asipirations helps leaders to fucos on the team or group rather than themselves and work through others to do the work rather doing it themselves.

In all these, ask yourself what motivate you and which of these aspirations will lead you to reach a better decision.

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