Our next sortie into leadership models and theories brings us to leadership and motivation.
We’ll first take a quick look at some commonly held theories and views of motivation — Maslow, Herzberg and Fayol — before considering the work of John Adair.
Theories of Motivation
So, let’s take a look at the work of the twentieth century motivation gurus.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar
There are many competing theories and models of motivation that all help to explain the behaviour of people at certain times.
A useful starting point is Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s starting point is that people are needy. That they always want more. Maslow arranges these needs in five levels:
- Physiological needs. These include food and drink, sleep, activity, and possibly sexual desire.
- Safety needs. These needs concern safety and security, the protection from danger or physical threat, and the need for orderliness.
- Love needs. These needs, often called the social needs, include affection, friendship, and a sense of belonging.
- Esteem needs. These include self respect, achievement, independence, and the esteem of others.
- Self-actualisation needs. This is the person reaching their full potential.
Although Maslow’s theory is still popular and often applied to the work situation, it is flawed, and there is little empirical evidence to support it. But it is useful, if only to view the different needs and expectations of people.
Does achieving one level motivate us to the next? Is the hierarchy a fixed order?
Herzberg’s Hygiene – Motivation Theory
Although Maslow did not intend that the hierarchy of needs be used in the workplace, Frederick Herzberg did …
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Ryun
Herzberg’s hygiene – motivation theory describes two sets of factors:
- Hygiene factors. Those things related to the job, when absent, that cause dissatisfaction. For example, working conditions, salary, job security, employee involvement, and so on.
- Motivators or growth factors. Those things related to the job, when present, serve to motivate people. For instance, responsibility, a sense of achievement, advancement, type of work, and recognition.
The hygiene factors are similar to Maslow’s lower-level needs. And, the motivators, to Maslow’s higher level needs.
Each are important for different reasons. Satisfying the hygiene factors may prevent dissatisfaction, but will not motivate people. That is to say, the opposite of dissatisfaction is not satisfaction!
So, are people needy after all, or do they come to work to do a good job? Why do you think this is important to the leader?
Fayol’s Principles of Management
Why mention Henri Fayol?
Well, because of Fayol’s assertion that people are motivated by more than just money.
Fayol recognised that leading people requires exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate people. He also understood the relationship between motivation and high performance, which leads us nicely to leadership and motivation.
Leadership and Motivation
John Adair was the first, or at least one of the first, to say there is no such thing as a born leader. Indeed he has shown us that leadership is learned and leadership learning is for life.
I’m a great believer that you should come up through the ranks and do your time actually training or instructing people in leadership. You can work on being a strategist later on. – John Adair
But, what does this have to do with motivation?
Well, to answer this we need to consider John Adair’s Action Centred Leadership model … which happens to be the next part in A Rough Guide to Leadership Models and Theories.
So, for now, let’s leave you with this: Adair recognised the responsibility of the manager or leader to motivate people — both the team and the person.
Unlike those motivation gurus, who argued that motivation comes from the person, Adair contradicts this and suggests half of motivation lies with the person and half from leadership.
So, our next foray into leadership models and theories will attempt to answer the question:
What makes a good leader?
Creative Commons Image courtesy Chris Potter.