If ever there was a study that reinforced my perspectives on leadership, this report titled, “A Business Case for Optimal Motivation (link),” from researchers at the The Ken Blanchard Companies would be the one. The study suggests that traditional approaches to leadership, namely the “Carrot and Stick” method, fail to breed long-term success and sustainability. Instead, the researchers contend that leaders should focus on three things to motivate their team members – Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competence (what the study refers to as ARC).
The Blanchard team distilled their findings down into a wonderful list of leadership suggestions that I wanted to share (as well as archive). Here it is:
- Encourage autonomy—by inviting choice and exploring options within boundaries
- Deepen relatedness—by sharing information about yourself and the organization, showing empathy and caring, and discussing your intentions openly
- Develop competence—by emphasizing learning goals and not just performance goals and by providing training and appropriate leadership style matching a person’s level of development
- Promote mindfulness—by encouraging self-reflection and asking open-ended questions that identify options
- Align with values—by helping individuals align goals to their identified values and by exploring natural interest and enthusiasm for a goal
- Connect to purpose—by providing rationale and big picture overviews to help individuals connect the goal to a work or life-related purpose
Source: Witt, David. “New Study Shows ‘Carrot and Stick’ Motivation Isn’t Much Better than ‘Not Interested’,” Blanchard LeadershipChat blog. February 19, 2015.
Photo Credit: “Bear Bryant Locker Room Speech to Incoming Freshmen.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVzETb9FSMw