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Why Motivating People Doesn't Work . . . and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging Paperback – February 27, 2017
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“Think of this book as Daniel Pink's Drive for trainers.”
– TD Magazine
“Richly rewarding book…a romp across the ins and outs of motivation.”
– People Management
"Everybody wants to be motivated—being bored and alienated is no fun. Fowler shows how to guide employees toward seeing their jobs in a new way, as potential sources of personal fulfillment. Achieving company goals will become something they own, because now it really matters to them."
—Marshall Goldsmith author of the New York Times and global bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
In this fascinating book, Susan Fowler shows why you should stop feeding your employees the emotional junk food of ineffective, short-term rewards; and how you can transition your leadership style to produce an optimal motivational outlook.”
—Steve Davis, Executive Vice President, CenturyLink
“A compelling reminder that leadership is a skill that can be mastered only by capturing the hearts and minds of the people you lead. The question is not if your people are motivated but why. Susan Fowler presents a new paradigm of motivation, a plain and simple alternative that is long overdue.”
—Lori Lorenz, Senior Director, Marketing, Hewlett-Packard
“So now you are a leader and you think you need to ‘motivate the troops’? Think again. Instead, it may be time to educate yourself on the principles of motivation. Susan’s book prescribes what to do next!”
—Kevin Nohelty, Vice President, US Supply Chain, WD-40 Company
“Susan has taught managers and human resources professionals in AkzoNobel how to use the skill of activating optimal motivation for themselves and with others as the way to improve employee engagement. We were all inspired! I’m convinced that this book will generate a ripple effect on many more people.”
—Eline Lenselink, Global HR Manager, AkzoNobel, The Netherlands
"This book gives me hope. We don't have to keep pushing for results at the expense of our people's health and well-being. It turns out, the way to results is through a workplace where people thrive. Susan's book shows you how to create it."
—Paul Donin, Executive Director, Restorative Justice Program, BC, Canada
“I encourage leaders to read this book—but with a warning. They may get more than they expect. I learned as much about my own motivation as I did about the motivation of those I lead.”
—M. Paula Daoust, PhD, Director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
“If you believe, as I do, that people are learners who long to grow, enjoy their work, be productive, make positive contributions, and build lasting relationships, then you must read this book. Susan presents tools you can use to create a company sure to unleash everyone’s full potential.”
—Dick Lyles, CEO, Origin Entertainment
“We all want help to motivate the people we lead, to help them develop and grow in a productive working environment. Susan Fowler’s technique shows you the right approach, leading to both the best performance and employee commitment.”
—Agnes Jeanbart, Facilities Manager, Gulf, Unilever
“If you read only one book this year, read this one!”
—Robert L. Lorber, PhD, President, The Lorber Kamai Consulting Group
“Susan reveals the recipe for motivation does not consist of carrots and sticks. Her formula has helped me lead my patients, my employees, and myself in the joyful pursuit of healthier outcomes. I would prescribe her book to everyone!”
—Laura Lee Copeland, MD, MBA, FACEP, emergency physician and Director of Medical Informatics, Humber River Hospital, Toronto, Canada
“One of the greatest opportunities for leaders is to help their people create meaning. Susan’s book shows us how.”
—Mine Sadiç, EEMEA Training Development Manager, Roche, Istanbul, Turkey
“Ever wonder what makes your consumers, clients, business partners, and employees keep coming back? Susan opens your eyes to why they do and how you can make the choice to return easy.”
—Tom Porter, Director, HR and Administration, Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA
“This book helps leaders reflect on what keeps them going and help others feel comfortable doing the same. It is critical to make what Susan writes in her book into habit.”
—Marios Loucaides, CEO, Cyprus Trading Corporation plc, Nicosia, Cyprus
“No motivational buttons, no inspiring speeches, no carrots and no sticks; instead, Susan proposes greater awareness of ourselves, practicing mindfulness, and learning to align values and purpose. We should listen instead of talking and search for the right questions instead of the right answers."
—Marius Tanase, Executive Director, Farmexpert, part of Alliance Boots
“Some ideas are way ahead of their time; Optimal Motivation is one of them and will shock you out of old methods of motivating people. It is the most revolutionary theory of motivation in decades.”
—Andrei Foisor, Country Manager, Roche Diabetes Care, Romania
“Susan’s book is provocative and pragmatic at the same time. She has successfully tapped into a longing I have had as a leader; how can I help people do what I think they naturally want to do—grow, develop, and fulfill their potential? Susan’s propositions are surefire and easy to put to action”
—Dr. Santrupt B Misra, CEO, Carbon Black Business and Director, Group H.R., Aditya Birla Group
Based on the latest research and extensive work with hundreds of companies, Susan Fowler has a shocking message to leaders about motivating their people: STOP! In this groundbreaking book, Susan shows leaders how they can get out of the way and encourage their people to learn the skills of self-motivation.
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I work in Cybersecurity and my focus is on illuminating the human element of cybersecurity. The title of this book intrigued me and I found myself curious about Susan’s constructs and concepts. What I found in the book was a sizeable amount of research backed information. Susan’s perspective on motivation is refreshingly different.
I read this book from the viewpoint of a CEO of a small business and found my mind connecting to elements of my personal life along the way.
When I talk to business owners about the value of maintaining momentum and reputation, I am referring to business attributes that can be positively and negatively impacted by motivation. Technology does not ignore policy or make decisions based on emotion, people do.
Susan’s points and guidance on autonomy, relatedness, and competence strike the bullseye for executives looking for ways to minimize cybersecurity risk. These are fundamental facets of high momentum companies.
From a personal perspective, I found the book touched upon several of the reasons why my weight was all over the place (mostly up) over the last 25 years. The sections of the book addressing anti-drive theory were eye opening for me personally and professionally.
Reading about self-regulation and mindfulness brought the point home. The primary reason I’ve been able to shed 60+ pounds is that I accidentally discovered these concepts through trial and error, error, error.
This book does not contain odd and wacky ways to make this easy. As with so many elements of life and business, many things are simple, not easy.
Other reviewers who commented about repetitiveness should strive to realize that we all connect with examples from books on our own terms. Some readers connect with the first example, while others connect with later examples. This is an overlooked reason why repetition is such an effective teaching aid.
Grab this book and give it a read – You’ll find value, I did!
Susan’s explanation on how we can promote high-quality self-regulation, I think is fundamental in identifying the triggers that can help with shifting our motivational outlook. The information Susan shared in this book is priceless, especially for those leaders that really want to serve their people and customers, because after all, the nature of human motivation is not about making money, is about making meaning and having a sense of purpose.
I bought this book to address a situation with someone who is not an employee or direct report of mine. I was hoping to find words, as well as the thinking, that would encourage a young person who is making critical life decisions. I didn't find ideas that will help me do that today.
In Fierce Conversations, Susan Scott (no relation) did an excellent job of giving step-by-step directions on how to have difficult conversations and gave examples of what language to use in doing so. That book provides an excellent template for doing what the author advocates.
Susan Fowler's book would be so much stronger if she had done the same. Perhaps we will get that in a revised edition or on her website.
I thought the most insightful (and difficult) part of the book was for me to write down MY values. True to form, I could run through what my school's values were, but my own? It was as difficult as it was insightful. That alone was worth the price of the book.