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Why and Motivational Maps

Motivation and various Job Types!

My friend, Akeela Davies, asked me an interesting question recently. What would be the ideal Motivational Map profile for the following roles – always keeping in mind that motivators are always contextual, which means there will always be exceptions on the ground to any ideal profile we might generate. The roles she had in mind were the:

Disturbance Handler
Resource Allocator

Hmm, a tough bunch of cookies then!

To answer the question we must always ask ourselves: what does that person in the position really want. Why do they desire that position? If we consider the Figurehead, our first role, then clearly the Star must be prominent, for a Figurehead by definition is someone we look to and notice; but alongside this motivator two others perhaps creep in. First, maybe the Defender, the need for security, for Figureheads tend to be non-threatening, a-political and secure sinecures – ideal niches for those who also want recognition. And I think, too, Director, whilst not the most important element, is an aspect of wanting to a Figurehead because whilst not having executive power they tend to have a big influence in an indirect sort of way.

For the Leader, of course, the Director is much more likely to be prominent, if not the dominant motivator. But equally motivators such as the Expert or the Creator or the Spirit or the Star can drive the Leader, and each of these motivators produce a different flavor of leadership: the Expert produces the ‘geek’ leadership where knowledge is king (possibly the Bill Gates position); the Creator produce the innovative type of leadership, very solution-orientated (more Steve Jobs and Walt Disney); whereas the Spirit motivator will produce the maverick and charismatic type of leader that you follow till the ends of Earth (think Horatio Nelson! Or Richard Branson); and the Star motivator will produce the ubiquitous type of leader who seems to be in fashion all the time (think Alan Sugar, who rarely seems to be off the TV these days). And then to add to the mix there is the Searcher leader – the servant leader who wants to make a difference for the customer and the employees: wow! Do read Bo Burlingham’s marvelous book, “Small Giants”, for some great examples of this. Finally, Leadership is such a big and universal concept that all motivators can ‘lead’ here: the Builder motivator for the commercially, competitive leader versus the Friend motivator for the all-inclusive, values-driven type.

What about the Liaison role? Perhaps the dominant motivator preference here might be the Friend, creating strong relationship across a communication web. Back up might be the Expert, knowledgeable and informed, and Star, prominent and necessary.

One more for now: the Monitor role, what motivators suit that? First, perhaps, would be the Defender, for monitoring implies security and predictability. Add to this the Director motivator because monitoring invariably implies the need to control or to ensure something persists within existing parameters. Finally, the Expert since usually monitoring requires a fair degree of specialization and insight.

These, I say, represent typical profiles that might well suit the roles that Akeela challenged with me; but it is not say that other profiles are not possible, for a law with Motivational Maps is that motivators are not skill or knowledge sets. People can perform at a high level for quite a while – till they burn out – with motivators not aligned with their role. But what about the other six roles, you cry?

Well, here’s your homework: what do you think their most likely motivators are? I’ll give you a chance to comment and have your say before I post again on the subject.


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