There's a philosophy out there that you can motivate almost anyone to do their job. It implies we can motivate someone, as well as take away their motivation.
Although this viewpoint is typically well-intended, it is counterproductive to greater success.
For starters, it does not foster greatness. Rather, it fuels a belief in personal powerlessness. It causes people to rely on others to do for them what they won't do for themselves. It usually lacks consequence, and it rarely leads anyone to actualizing their full potential.
It also implies that people can have control over us. It's the ultimate blame game: "I didn't get good results because my boss inadequately motivated me, so it's not my fault."
My question: Why do we want to take responsibility for motivating someone who isn't? Don't we have enough responsibility already? After all, being unmotivated doesn't work for us, why should it be okay for anyone else? It appears, however, "unmotivated" has become almost socially acceptable simply because it has become so tolerated.
Managing vs. hiring
The philosophy of "motivating the unmotivated" has also made how we manage more important than who we hire. It causes us to focus on finding the most effective motivational tactic rather than the best hiring practices.
Step One for creating a highly motivated organization is hiring highly motivated people. If we're truly hiring self-motivated people who are passionately driven to find solutions, overcome obstacles and achieve goals, then we don't need to motivate them.
High Performers don't need a perfect work environment to produce great results. They don't become less motivated when the goal seems impossible. Instead, they become...