понедельник, 18 апреля 2011 г.

An article by Pierre Casse: May the leader lie in order to increase the motivation?

Here is the translation of the article by Pierre Casse, the SKOLKOVO professor, published last week in his personal blog on the Vedomosti Newspaper. The original text in Russian is available here
It is one of the main tasks of a good leader to create and support the right motivation in his employees. If they don’t have the motivavtion – they don’t have a working spirit, and consequently one shouldn’t expect to see decent results of their work. There are numerous models for rising people’s motivation. Unfortunately the authors of those models tend not to take into consideration the two extremely important factors which are the basis for creating the right mood in the people.

First of all, we should always remember that we are trying to create the motivation in people, and people are motivating themselves. That is why when working on the right mood in your staff you should always know an answer to the question ‘What is it for them personally in what I am offering?’ There is a simple formula: Motivation = Expected pleasure from the regarded process + Expected value of the final result that is estimated taking into consideration the involved energy, effort and time and the unused alternative possibilities. And the less are the summonds the less is the sum.

Secondly, it is also important to keep in mind that nonrational behavior is as important for people as rational is. The best illustration of such an approach is the James Dean saying that “you should dream as if you are going to live forever and live as if you are going to die today.” The assumption of people driven by rationality and common sense should be forgotten. History shows us that the majority tend to change their mind dramatically in a day’s time.

And these are the rules of the game played by all the leaders; but not all of them manage to motivate their team in the right way and succeed. In order to be among those who do you should follow three main requirements. First: all the people want to know what is going on around them. Few things may annoy them that much than learning about the problems or strides of their company from the third parties. At the same time it makes the employees feel taken good care of when they see their managers sharing all possible information with them. The second point is to explain the decisions made. People don’t content with just hearing the final orders anymore, they want to know and understand what reasons had led to such decisions and what is demanded from them. This point leads us to the third one: people want not only to fulfill the tasks but also to take part in the discussions and decision making process. This is what gives them the feeling of involvement in the success of the company’s success, and that is very much linked with their loyalty and motivation.

All of that leads us to the answer on the initial question – whether leaders may lie or not. They may, of course, but thus they will hardly get any positive result. The world has changed, and there are more and more people who say during their interviews that they need their opinion to be heard and respected. Most of them are not afraid to loose the game or face the problems, most of them are afraid of being indifferent and go with the stream. There are no companies that face no problems, but only those do win who don’t hide them from their employees and try to solve them out together. After all you should never forget the Mark Twain’s saying: “The really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Pierre Casse
Pierre Casse is Professor of Leadership at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Dean Emeritus of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership (Germany). Since 2002 he is Adjunct Professor of Management at the Kellogg School of Management at the Northwestern University in Chicago (USA). He also teaches at the Steinbeis University, Germany (since 2004); the IEDC-Bled School of Management (Slovenia), and the IAE University Aix-en-Provence, France, (since 1994). He is CEO and Owner of Business Innovation Network, Switzerland, and consultant to many multinational companies; also a Partner at ACG (Aix Consulting Group).

More articles by Pierre Casse in our blog:
Pierre Casse’s lecture during the SKOLKOVO Open Day
Interview with Pierre Casse: Russian managers love challenges

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