Tapping Into The Power Motive

You want to build engagement and excitement into your employees? Try tapping into their power motive.

Find out what it is that drives them and where they want to make an impact. If you are attuned to those around you, and you actually pay attention to what you see and hear from your employees it should not be overly difficult for you to do so. Sometimes, all it takes is a little time. You need to find the time during your day to let your employees know that they are still relevant.

The power motive is about impact. It is about the impact that your employees think they can have based on the role and the assignment given to them. It is about what they can control and sometimes who they can control.

The late David C. McClelland in his research made a case for two types of power motives. One is personal and the other is institutional. As a leader, you’re goal is to get your employees to buy into the institutional power motive.

The difference in the two lies in the way the power is manifested and the way in which it shows up in the environment. The personal power motive is about acquiring power in order to direct others. The institutional aspect of power is about influencing others to achieve the goals of the organization. If you can tap into the institutional aspect of the power motive to get your people inspired, you can increase engagement, empowerment and bottom line results.

The big question is how do you do it? It starts, first and foremost, with being attuned to your people and the culture of your organization. It is not rocket science. But, I do not want to minimize the work or the importance of doing it. It is really about taking the time to coach your people, to listen to them and watching to see what motivates their behaviors.

It may be about seeking power and making an impact, or it may be about staying on course and not taking risks because they don’t want to fail.

The key takeaway is that you need to dig a little deeper and tap into what motivates them.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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