Two Ways To Motivate

You can try to motivate people by telling them they didn’t do a good enough job. That they need to try harder. That they made a mistake, and you never want to see them do it that poorly again. If they don’t shape up, you’ll just get someone better to replace them. 


Or you can motivate people by re-affirming their talent. You can tell them how much you believe in them, how talented you know they are. Yes, there are mistakes they’ve made, but if they work hard their talent will easily overcome the obstacles to making something truly great. 


The problem with fear-based motivation is it occasionally works temporarily. It’s greatest weakness is that it never creates long-term growth in the person you’re trying to motivate. When you make people afraid that you’re going to fire them, you make them completely focused on pleasing you, not making something amazing. All they want is to not screw up, which forces that person to play it safe. And all successful projects, performances, and organizations demand extraordinary work from people, not cautious it’s-good-enough half-efforts.


Let the fear of not creating something amazing motivate your team, instead of the fear that they won't please you. You'll be amazed at what you'll accomplish.