If you want to lead people, letting them act on their existing motivations will motivate them a lot more than not recognizing those motivations. If that motivation builds in caring about others’ interests, all the more effective.
A lot of people look down on others who do things for personal recognition, applause, glory, and things like that. “You should do it because it’s good, that’s all,” they say. Often they don’t say it, they just think it.
People who think this way miss a major aspect of people’s motivations. People like recognition for their work too. It makes a lot of sense. How many times has someone intended to help you but actually annoyed you? Did your parents try to get you into a different profession than you wanted?
Focusing on recognition forces you to understand what they want, not just what you think they want.
I think people who disparage doing things for external recognition fear their own motivations, that they’re worried they’re working out of their vanity. Wanting recognition can sound like vanity or insecurity, but it isn’t necessarily. Worrying about your own vanity or insecurity can lead you to project it onto others, but that doesn’t mean it applies.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book