Bob Nelson of Motivation, Inc. shared some tactics that caused me to think about what motivates each of us in work or life.

Some of those tactics included saying "thank you," listening, providing performance feedback, recognition, training opportunities, sense of ownership, trust, and continued success. Obviously, there are some interested and motivated specifically by monetary gain.

I have been motivated in both arenas of my life, personal and career, by the opportunity to learn and develop "a better way." I am interested to hear what motivates you - the recruiter, the sourcer, or the person.... What words do you work or live by?

I will be using what I learn here in a white paper I am putting together and would appreciate your input.


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Hi Rayanne
Not an easy one to answer.
I am sure motivation is very very individual and really cannot be canned in a simple formula or a '6 points to motivation' seminar.
Motivation for me has varied through my stages of life and related maturity or in the early stages 'a lack of it'.
Early years - motivation for self gratitude - seeking self indulgence - the search for fulfillment.
Mid years - motivation by personal achievement, reaching higher goals and seeing how far I could go in everything not just work - defining who I am and what I am capable of.
Later years - self and personal inner growth to give to others - personal transformation because of what I found out I was in the early years.
Mature years - imparting a wealth of knowledge to others and motivated by seeing others grow, succeed and change - to make a difference without personal recognition. I am brought to tears when I see a young person break through and change their lives. - growth and learning by contribution
I don't need to be seen, I don't need recognition I seek only contribution to others.
I hope this ramble is of some benefit.
Hi Rayanne,

I am very glad you brought this up. Three events happened last week that made me think about this same question.

1) I talked to a candidate that had been a successful sales manager for his group. He shared that he came to realize early in his management track that he needed to hire motivated people from the get-go rather than spending so much of his energy to keep people motivated in order to have a successful team.

2) A candidate and I were talking about her background, and one of her early jobs had been in teaching. She was teaching quantitative courses in finance/economics for some time. There were smart students that memorized the formulas and knew exactly when to punch one in and get the right answer, and there were others that understood the meaning of the formulas and knew exactly what they were doing in the process of punching one in and get the right answer. She told me that she realized early on in her career, that you cannot teach someone to be analytical. They either are or not.

3) A colleague of mine came to me feeling a certain level of discomfort with a project he was taking on. Through our thirty minute chat, I realized he was frustrated because he was not having the impact he expected to have on this account. I really appreciated his level of self-awareness and willingness to look for an answer before it became a visible problem to others in the team. The fact that he was concerned about this confirmed my perceptions about him. He was definitely one of the most motivated and driven people in my team, but he needed some guidance to understand where his frustration was coming from.

These things got me going last week. First of all, I think that you cannot teach someone to be motivated. It's like trying to teach someone to be analytical all of the sudden. Now, I also think that there are times in which a motivated individual becomes discouraged due to external/internal factors.

IMHO, motivation is something that comes from within. It's part of one's identity and not just a mood. You either are a motivated person or not. You can encourage someone to build up on that by "saying "thank you", listening, providing feedback, recognition, training opportunities, sense of ownership, trust, and continued success". I think the best managers are able to hire motivated people and then encourage these motivated people to help them excel at what they do and reach their full potential.

Thanks again, Rayanne for bringing this important question to life.

My warm regards,

Catia Yun
Hi Rayanne,

This topic is a great interest to me as my first & fav course in psychology was on the studies & theories behind motivation. I have learned throughout my life so far that being surrounded by highly intellectual, innovative and positive professionals motivates me tremendously. I can't list all the topics of motivation or all the reasonings behind what makes one "click".. simply put.. it's those that empowers others that seek to lead a greater force beyond anyone's true comprehension despite all the risks involve...that motivates me.

Expressing gratitude, showing vulnerability in midst of seeking significance shows a great character and thus shows his/her motivating colors to me. As defined in wiki via motivation ~ I agree with Maslow's theory among others as stated below.

"At lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, such as Physiological needs, money is a motivator, however it tends to have a motivating effect on staff that lasts only for a short period (in accordance with Herzberg's two-factor model of motivation). At higher levels of the hierarchy, praise, respect, recognition, empowerment and a sense of belonging are far more powerful motivators than money, as both Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation and Douglas McGregor's Theory X and theory Y (pertaining to the theory of leadership) demonstrate"

Words I live by are - respect, trust and transformational leadership.

Thanks for the post Rayanne ~ and best wishes on writing your white paper. I would love to read it when you are done with it.

I love this post, Rayanne -- and really loved reading the variety of responses. For me, I think that the primary motivator is human connection: that magical moment when two people clearly understand each other even if they don't share a common language.

I was 16 when I traveled by myself as an exchange student to France; it was my first airplane flight, and first extended time away from family and friends. With all of the bravado it took to apply and get selected for the program, I felt scared and lonely in that moment. I found my seat on the plane through tears, and continued to sniffle as I looked out the window while others filled the seats around me: a large group of tourists from Iran, and not one of them spoke more than a few words of English. I felt lonelier than ever as I looked out on the tarmac. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my arm; the woman next to me, a very old lady whose wizened face reminded me of crinkled paper, tucked her linen hankerchief into my hand. She smiled at me with the kindest eyes, as if she knew exactly what I was feeling, and let her hand rest on mine for a moment longer. The gesture was so simple and reassuring, and we connected. I realized in that moment that language was no barrier between people of common experience.

Connection is what I live for, as it sets a high bar for the quality of all my relationships.
I don't want to seem like a simpleton with all of these multi-paragraph responses, but my answer is really quite simple. Making a difference motivates me, whether it's with my wife and kids or working on industry shaking projects that could save hiring companies millions.

Making a difference motivates me.

Finding my why has helped tremendously and I have sythesized Anthony Robbins and Napoleon Hill's stategies into my motivation method. Here is the template I go back to and share with my clients:

Clearly understanding why you wish to create a cutting edge consulting recruiting business is the first block of your foundation. Becoming clear on your goals is more challenging than most people acknowledge. There are two foundational motivators which drive human behavior. Moving towards pleasure and moving away from pain. Many of us at times, have both motivators working within us, with one being dominant. The key to unlocking human potential is to effectively recognize which drives your behavior consistently. Fortunately, statistics clearly point to moving away from pain as the dominant creator of human behavior patterns.

Knowing the majority of people will be an order of magnitude more motivated to move away from pain, is an incredibly valuable personal recruiting strategy and tool that we have at our disposal in creating our business. With this knowledge we can powerfully create goals that are aligned with our primary behavior pattern. We can begin to align our goals at a foundational level.

Most people can quickly list several wants, such as a new car, an updated kitchen, money to send children to day care or private school and perhaps even list their desired retirement income. Simply stated, most of us, with ease, can in a few moments list our goals. Few people take time to strip away the layers of their goal to understand their why? Doesn’t it make sense to understand why we want to achieve our goals? The value of understanding your why is profound, as understanding what you are moving away from, and emotionalizing your biggest fears, creates passionate motivation to do whatever is possible to move far away from that fear. Momentum occurs.

So, how do you find what your why is? Similarly to writing your goals, simply list your biggest goal. Once listed ask yourself, what will that do for you? Write the answer down and ask yourself why that is important to you? Now that you have your answer, ask your self, “and why is that important”? Really dig deep and confront the reason. Confront your why. How does your response make you feel? Chances are, if your answer is emotionalized, you have found your real why. Your answer or your real why, may be your biggest fear.

Hi Rayanne,

This is a perfect subject for recruiters because the right analysis of factors that motivate invariably leads to a closure ! Having said that I am personally motivated by
: opportunities to make a positive impact, change ,a difference to someone
opportunities that enable me to resolve or be the answer to the problem
people that have a vision , an innovative mind and the zeal to live life to the lees
opprtunities to see a person grow ,evolve as a result of any small combination from me .
Look fwd to reading your paper soon,
Hi Rayanne,

There are several things in life that motivate me. I'm not sure I can put my finger on any one thing, so below is a list of a few things that help me wake up early, stay up late, and charge forward:

1. Learning - I am incredibly motivated by learning new things and keeping my learning curve steep, in all aspects of life. Personal, professional and social.
2. Overcoming obstacles - I am addicted to that feeling of accomplishment that happens when a breakthrough is made and something very difficult has been reached or overcome.
3. Creation - (and to quote Tony Robbins) "There is nothing worse than leading an OK life. There is Excitement in creation; there is no excitement in maintenance."

The list goes on and on - in fact I would go so far as to say I am a very motivated person. But underlying all of these, is the joy I take out of the little things (little accomplishments, little experiences, little smiles, etc) in the journey of getting where I'm going.

Hope this helps!
Hey RayRay! Great subject - wow....this is going to sound corny, but it's really what drove me to recruiting from day one - I'm motivated by helping people. That's when work and fun are synonymous to me. It's completely demotivating to be passing time - for me, it has to be more than just bringing in a paycheck. It's got to be something I can sink my teeth into - something that says, "this is why I am here - this is why I do what I do."

I guess I'm a pretty simple guy, but I know that our work - our jobs - our careers consume a big fat % of our lifetime. It brings me a ton of personal satisfaction to know that I can help somebody with an aspect of their life that's as big as this.
Hi Rayanne
I know I answered before but I have been thinking on this and reading other responses from the profound to the simple (DS) but on the money just the same.
However we all look at an outcome as the object of our motivation, it can be to help others or to make a buck but it is always an outcome.
I then thought of what drives this, and outcome is the end but the driver can't just be the end or can it? perhaps motivation is driven by emotion, in finding that thing that engages our emotion we are motivated by it??
I don't think it has to be the same emotion it can be positive or negative but a powerful driving force nun the less! this begs the question is then motivation responding to the emotion or achieving the outcome?? is it satisfying the emotion that we really achieve??
I am extremely motivated to make big bucks to support my family. I have a picture of my son and hubby and this reminds me every day about my overall goals.
Hi Rayanne - This is such a good question and one that is great to step back from life occasionally and consider. Having spent a good part of my career in management and leadership positions its one that I've often asked myself and of those I've worked with. Its also interesting to see how personal and professional motivators align and influence decisions over time. I've enjoyed reading everyone's responses and look forward to your white paper. So, what motivates me?

> making a contribution that positively affects people and business
> exploring new ideas, thoughts, trends
> working collaboratively to solve complex problems
> authenticity in people, in business and in life
> the beauty of nature
> money, yes - but only to a point

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