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What We Use To Motivate Our Team MattersWhen we’re thinking about an item, with Mickey [Drexler] it’s never just, ‘is it the right price, and how many units should we buy?’ It’s ‘do we love it, is it beautiful, is it the thing we want?’ The J. Crew Invasion, Bloomberg Businessweek, Dec 2, 2013.

When I started my consulting practice I saw the potential to make it a pretty lucrative business.  However, when I began to focus on numbers of customers and associated income, it pretty much sucked the soul out of the whole effort.

See also Get The Motivation Right

I finally settled on three simple principles:

1. Help people to succeed
2. Grow professionally by doing innovative things not limited to conventional wisdom
3. Make a profit

The key was I first needed an inspiring reason, something other than fame and fortune, for my motivation.  Only then  did the business have to sustain itself.  I tell people that my practice is a small business and that is what makes it so rewarding

When working on any project, I always found that it was amazingly effective to inspire people by focusing on what we were trying to achieve.  When we focused on doing a good job, being really good at what we did, it had more effect than talks on promotion potential, visibility, bonuses from profitability or keeping our jobs.  While these other things were always nice to have, actually being successful at what we did where others often struggled, was both satisfying and provided a lasting feeling of accomplishment.

I always cherished the comment where someone said “Bruce, you are the only one who ever asked for good quality and actually meant it.” Keeping focused first on doing a good job for the right reasons always guaranteed that we would also deliver on time with good quality.

For more see Quality Results In Productivity

It is too easy to focus on the numbers and to lose track of the good reasons for why we are doing what we are doing.  Keeping that purpose foremost in mind and motivating our people with that purpose resulted in highly motivated and successful teams.

What is the current motivation for your project team to do well?

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