Book Summary: Motivational Management

For a considerable time, Mike Crandall and his associates at Sandler Training were in the business of helping their clients achieve greater business outcomes.

"People buy for their reasons, not ours" is one of the key foundations of their sales training.

Likewise, the folks you work with daily come to work because of their reasons. When you grasp these motivating factors, you'll motivate them.

That's what this book is all about: identifying each person's unique motivational elements and devising a strategy to improve performance based on that knowledge.

Some of the concepts you'll learn here have already been discussed. Rather than ignoring it, ask yourself if you've customized that notion for a single person and if you've properly adopted that tool throughout your business, as Crandall suggests.

Let's get this discussion started.

What Motivation Is and Why It Matters

A man is supporting his workmate.

Crandall's concept of motivation is as follows:

Motivation is all about identifying and exploiting rewards that are significant to a certain individual.

It all boils down to figuring out what's going on behind the surface. On the surface, most individuals appear to desire the same things. Recognition, increased remuneration, and so on. However, when you go a little further, you begin to see why those things are so essential to individuals - those are the true motivators.

Crandall explains by telling the story of two little girls...

Maria and Amy are getting ready to start kindergarten. Each girl is looking forward to the new school year, which begins tomorrow morning. Maria has trouble sleeping. Amy is having trouble sleeping.

Maria is unable to sleep since she is ecstatic about the next day.

Amy is unable to sleep because she is terrified of the next day.

On the exterior, we have two young ladies who cannot sleep. On the outside, the issues are the same, such as your team members desiring more compensation or recognition.

However, if you want to get both girls to sleep, you'll need to use a different technique for each. Certainly, you could tell them both that if they don't go to sleep, they'll be weary at school the next day, but it wouldn't get to the root of the problem and quiet their thoughts.

Similarly, you can't just deliver a speech (or hire a speaker to give a lecture) and then cross "inspiration" off your to-do list.

To truly harness the genuine power of inspiration, you must go deeper and understand each individual.

You already understand this, but the actual question is whether you're doing it.

The 5 Stages of Growth

Humans go through five phases of development, according to Crandall.

  • You first become aware of a problem. "How do I get more dialed into what's going on around me?" is a question for this stage.
  • Second, you gain insight into how to resolve your issue. The majority of individuals stop here, believing that the problem has been solved. The finest managers, like you, keep pushing through three more stages.
  • Third, you put everything you've learned into practice in our unique situation. As a result of what you've learned, you've begun to do things differently.
  • The fourth stage is skill development, which involves improving on the adjustments made in the third phase.
  • It becomes a habit at the fifth and final stage of development. Motivating your workforce by recognizing their individual motivations has become as automatic as tying your shoelaces.

Let's go back to stage two and learn how to motivate your staff to get you there.

The Old Way - The Carrot and Stick

The brother is playing games with his little brother.

Many people are aware of the "carrot and stick" methods of motivation, which are best shown by how a donkey may be persuaded to carry you to your goal. You can either reward good behavior (the carrot) or penalize bad behavior (the stick).

Instead of skipping over these two ways, let's examine them immediately so we can compare them to a third approach: the ambition to become a thoroughbred.

Incentive Programs

As Crandall points out, incentive schemes work for certain individuals in some situations, but they seldom work for everyone. And three requirements must be met for them to work. Let's stick with the donkey example for a while.

  • First, the donkey must be hungry - there must be a longing for the incentive.
  • Second, the weight must be light enough to feel they can cross the finish line, provided they know where it is. This is the one most managers overlook.
  • Finally, the carrot must be large enough.

It's exceedingly difficult to get these right across an entire business, and the outcomes are sometimes unsatisfactory. In reality, many incentive schemes have the reverse effect: people get demotivated and put in less effort rather than more.

Fear Programs

Fear-based programs, like incentive programs, can be effective in the short run if certain conditions are satisfied.

  • First and foremost, there is dread.
  • Second, individuals must think they can perform the task at hand.
  • Finally, the stick is big enough - the penalty for non-performance must be severe enough to compel behavior.

These, on the other hand, practically never work in the long run and will instead push people away from your team or business. Fear has the unique potential to suffocate creative and imaginative thought, both of which are necessary to reach your objectives in the first place.

The bottom line is that you may execute these regimens and possibly get short-term benefits. Still, they almost always backfire and never work in the long run.

So let's get to what actually works in the short and long run.

The New Way - Attitude Motivation

David Sandler, the originator of Sandler Training, offers a metaphor that aptly describes the third choice...

Here's how attitude motivation works: It encourages individuals to run, not because they're chasing a carrot or trying to escape a stick, but because they want to be thoroughbreds.

To put it another way, attitude motivation encourages people to work for their own reasons rather than yours.

Is it true that this requires more work than the carrot and stick approach? Yes. But having a team of individuals with a genuine sense of purpose, who you don't have to encourage or threaten to achieve exceptional results. It's also the only viable long-term answer.

Let's start with what Crandall refers to as the "five key human motivators":

  • TO DO. Some people are inspired by the prospect of accomplishing a certain goal for the sake of achieving it.
  • TO BE. The potential of self-actualization—becoming the finest and highest version of oneself—motivates certain people.
  • TO HAVE. Some people are driven by the prospect of having a certain item or earning a certain amount of money.
  • TO ACCOMPLISH. Some people are driven to make a unique personal contribution in a particular field by a certain purpose, experience, or life lesson.
  • TO BE KNOWN FOR. Some people are driven by the desire to be recognized by others.

People, according to Crandall, lean on just one of those motivators at a time. As life progresses, a person may shift from one to the next. Still, on any given day, if he chooses to go outside of his comfort zone and into a new world of possibilities, he does so for one of the five reasons listed above.

You may have a team-wide mission or vision statement, but what you're looking for is each individual's personal purpose. One of the five motivators listed above is likely to include it.

Connecting, Personally

Of course, no one shows up to work with a placard listing their key motivators and supporting information. You have to unearth that type of information. You have to foster an environment where they feel comfortable disclosing their innermost aspirations.

You don't need a master's degree in psychology to get there, thankfully.

Instead, request a list of your coworkers' favorite items. Favorite movies, vacation type, hobbies, candy bar, music, and so forth. All you have to do now is a few things.

If you're going to employ extrinsic rewards, start by giving them their favorite items.

Next, show an interest in discovering why those things are their favorites. This indicates that you care about them as individuals, which means they'll open up to you more, which means you'll understand them better. You'll be able to figure out how to best inspire them to perform better.

What being interested in someone as a human being can achieve for you is fantastic. Consider letting everyone on your team share their "favorites" with one another.

Finding Their Purpose

A man is finding his purpose.

You may discover each employee's own purpose in a variety of methods.

One method is to develop a personal vision board, which consists of images that symbolize their personal and professional objectives. Some individuals will put a photo of their dream house on it. Or a picture of mountains they want to explore someday and anything else they want to do in the future.

Whether you use a vision board or another method, the value of the exercise is that it allows your team to dream about their future. It also provides them a way to revisit that goal frequently.

You now have a way to link their job performance daily to their greatest ambitions and dreams. Consider how useful it would be to have that kind of knowledge at your fingertips.

Understanding Behavioral Wiring

Finally, you'll need to know how your team likes to communicate with one another if you want to master encouraging them to accomplish their best job.

DISC is a behavioral model that helps you determine which participation style a person most closely resembles. They are as follows:

  • Dominant: Dominant people are outgoing and enjoy being in command of circumstances. They don't appreciate small conversation and prefer to win and advance. Stick to business and utilize a results-oriented attitude when dealing with these people.
  • Influencer: Influencers are persons who are approachable and trustworthy. They want to be liked and a part of a team. They are not rational decision-makers and might be spontaneous and intuitive. They don't get down to business; they get around to business, as Crandall puts it.
  • Steady Relator: They are pleasant and patient folks that know how to preserve the peace and prevent dispute. They dislike shocks and changes. They are devoted, yet they seldom express their genuine sentiments.
  • Compliant: These folks are cautious thinkers who are obedient. They are meticulous perfectionists who always gather new information to find the ideal answer.

We don't really have time in this brief to detail these styles. But if you're going to utilize a system like this, make sure your employees do the evaluations beforehand. It's a recipe for disaster to guess which individual connects with which style.


In this synopsis, we've addressed as much material as we can. You now have a foundation for creating rapport with your team, so they'll share their ambitions and dreams, and you can tie their day-to-day job to their personal purpose.

You also know that you may delve even further. Discover how each individual is wired behaviorally so you can relate to them in a way they can comprehend.

All that's left now is to put what you've learned into practice. Then convert it into actual abilities, and eventually, make them habits you employ every day to improve your team's performance.

Connect with your local Sandler Training consultant if you want to do more of this in your business; they'll know what to do next.

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