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From the moment we are born we develop both our motives and values. Motives are deep-seated non-conscious desires and are the things that we enjoy doing. Values develop through social conditioning – home, school, religion, work, friends etc. Values are what we feel are important; the things we should do.
David McClelland’s theory on human motivation states that in normal, healthy human beings there are 3 social motives and values that describe the widest range of behaviors:
- affiliation and
Achievement is a concern for achieving a standard of excellence that the individual sets for him/herself. Often people with a dominant achievement motive strive for mastery and expertise in their chosen field.
Affiliation is concerned with having positive relationships for the sake of the relationship (and not in service of something else). Individuals with a dominant affiliation motive invest in a few, deep relationships and often have strong reactions towards others – they are clear whom they like and dislike. They prefer environments that are convivial and foster friendship.
The power motive is a concern to have influence and impact on others. People with a dominant power motive like to have an audience and visibility. They are often good networkers.
There is no ‘right’ motive profile that determines success; we are all different.
The key to our success lies in understanding what drives our behavior in various situations; this is a combination of our motives and our values (what we believe is important at the time) and the conditions that we find ourselves in.
Defining personal success is a journey of self-discovery; you need to figure out what is your true purpose, what you are passionate about, what you enjoy and find ways at work to satisfy that need. You must to listen to your inner voice rather than be influenced by others so that you can lead a fulfilling life and not feel regret when you retire because you did not follow your heart.
A week back, I had the pleasure of catching up with one of my friends who used to be one of the most demanding bosses I have had the privilege of working with. While giving each other personal updates, our discussion – as it always does – turned into reminiscing about the demanding yet fun environment that we had co-created with our entire employee base.
It was a fun environment, where the Power Distance Index (“PDI”, referencing Geert Hofstede) was very low across the organization, especially in the context of an emerging Asian operation market. In spite of the cordial relationships, everyone was crystal clear about the high performance standards and focused on bringing value to all stakeholders, especially the customers. Continue reading
“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” – Marilyn Monroe
Women leaders need to learn to manage without injecting gender into it. We’re all different! Being different from men (or other women) isn’t something to change or hide. Get over the idea that men and women are complete opposites, that we can never be similar.
There are times in the business world when we (and I mean: men and women) should be competitive or confrontational and there are times when we should seek compromise, cooperation and listen to our emotions. Most situations call for a blend of all of the above and most men and women have the ability to be all of these things. Continue reading