A while back a good friend called me:

“-Anto! I will need stress therapy soon!

-Why? What’s up?

-My manager read a book! We are doomed for the next six months!

-What do you mean?

-Last time this happened, we all received the book mandated to read, that was all we were talking about, using the same phrases, and the company was turned upside down and it sucked, but we did that for six months just to prove it doesn’t work for us, not in the same way. …

Deterrents or demotivators are the things that decrease the value of Want for an action. The value of Want is the result of the Sum between motivators and deterrents. What makes us act on something is not motivation, it is the value of want for the action. The value of want is the difference between motivators to do the action and motivators to not do the action.

***(link for more in-depth info on the value of want)

We tend, as leaders, for ourselves and also for the people we lead, to avoid by all means the deterrents of an action…

Leadership, if we were to functionally define it, means INFLUENCE. That is what we do when we do leadership.

The challenge is when we do leadership, in most circumstances, we are not aware we’re doing it.

For any other role, we know we do the tasks on that role. …

Maturity or maturation (how it’s called in psychology) is the process of learning to feel what we feel. More easily said, maturity is when we are able to tolerate the emotions we feel without being overwhelmed or dysregulated.

It is rarely that in normal conversation we say “we are not motivated to do something”. Instead we say things like this:

I don’t want to do …

I don’t feel like doing …

And, as far as wisdom goes, we are on to something because motivation is just half the story.

Let’s unpack it simply:

What makes people want to do something?

People do things because they want to do them.

…so what gets people to act on a task or on a to-do is their feeling of want.

Let’s unpack that feeling of want:

*The feeling of want is about how people feel. Wanting is about E(motion)s.

E(motion)s are about Energy for motion (movement, action). …

We know that finding the work meaningful and feeling it serves a purpose is crucial for work engagement (yes, not just for gen X,Y,Z …).

Leaders, there’s good news. You don’t need to create meaning or purpose. Pfiuuu!

Every person already has meaning and a purpose, you just tap into that:

All you need to do as a leader is to correlate:

what the organization, product, team, and role already do and how they already do it


what each person already finds meaningful and to the purpose they already have.

This makes life a bit easier and a lot harder at the same time. Because instead of appealing to the creative visionary…

You don’t have to have a dream!

I advocate passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you.

The internet is booming with information about “meaningful work”. Considering that meaning seems to be quite important to engagement, motivation, well-being, effectiveness … you name it, I tried to figure out the mechanics of it, beyond the cognitive definitions and descriptions.

So, what does it actually mean to find your work meaningful? …

There is nothing aberrant when it comes to humans (and organizations). Anything that happens has a function, anything!

It’s a sort of reverse HCD combined with some systems thinking, but in the end, those things come from the mechanics of human nature.

Why give up “Why?”

“Why?” assumes that the drivers of behavior happen prior to it. However, back in my BF Skinner crush days, I understood something that stuck with me:

Behavior is driven by what happens during and after it, not by what happens before it.

When we ask “why” we look for a cause.

Causes are about determinism, and when we…

Are you familiar with the hilarious “image recognition” fails? Let’s talk about the “performance recognition” ones.

When in a manager role, one way or another, we end up having to assess performance. We do this looking retrospectively in performance reviews or predictively in the hiring process. What would be our “fails”?

SUMMARY: When assessing performance ask:

- What does performance mean? Do I have a full description of performance?

- What exactly and how much of it do I actually assess? What don’t I assess and what are the implications for it?

- What is the difference between assessment and…

In the context of manager/employee situations, is autonomy taken or granted? Where does autonomy become abandonment? “Provide context not control” — who actually defines what “appropriate context” means? The manager or the employee?

We’ve been hearing the word Autonomy and its synonyms for 10 years already (35 years in psychology). We heard all about it in books & articles on leadership and motivation, as it is fundamental for motivation and engagement:

“Control leads to compliance, autonomy leads to engagement” — Dan Pink

“Provide people with context, not control” — Netflix culture deck

“Those three things — autonomy, complexity, and a…

anto simpLEADfies

solutionist @ simpLEADfy.com | simplifying leadership in plain language | reducing noise, keeping complexity | without wisdomous one-liners

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