Thursday, March 3, 2011

"How will you motivate your team, Pascal-san?"

This question has stayed me for 20 years.

How indeed, do we motivate people to do extraordinary things?

Many schools of thought.
The oldest, surely is the carrot and stick. "Do as I say or I'll do bad things to you..."

There's no denying that it works in certain scenarios.

But does the carrot and stick motivate creative work -- the kind needed for breakthrough?
Does the Steve Jobs motivate his designers thus?
No doubt there's an element of fear - "Don't want to disappoint Steve..."

But can fear alone motivate the Mac, MacPro, IPod, IPhone, IPad...?

I think not.

Transcendent achievement, in my experience, requires connection to a deeper purpose -- to a noble goal.

Jobs' celebrated hoshin -- Let's put a ding in the universe -- is a good example.

Jobs touches the heart (And our hearts go out to him and his family in this difficult time.)

In the book Getting the Right Things Done, I defined True North as follows:
"Something for the head, something for the heart..."
To overcome the inevitable hurtles, hassles and hammerheads we need courage -- and that only accrues when the head and heart are in sync.

More on courage is future blogs.

Best regards,


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