There are countless definitions of Leadership, almost as many as the number of authors who have written about the topic, so with this series of Leadership Insights, I will be sharing the best of leadership theory and practice, to enable you to be a more effective leader or manager.
Are you feeling motivated? Do you know what drives your motivation or motivates others?
Way back in 1964, Victor Vroom, a professor at the Yale School of Management, came up with a theory about what’s required to motivate people. That theory is known as Expectancy Theory, and I’m going to ‘blow the dust’ of that theory and add some Self-leadership to show you can use it today, to make you more efficient.
If you prefer to watch me explain this on video – you can do so.
Being human, we have a smart brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, which we use to imagine and predict the future. These imaginations and predictions create expectations.
If the future seems reasonably likely and attractive to us, we know how to get there and we believe we can make the difference then this will motivate us to act to make this predicted future come true. In other words, if people expect a positive and desirable outcome, they will usually work hard to perform at the level expected of them.
Expectancy theory differs from the ideas of Maslow and Herzberg, because it doesn’t concentrate on needs, but rather focuses on outcomes. Vrooms Model states that:
‘Motivational Force’ = Expectancy x Instrumentality x Valence
Let me explain.
Expectancy refers to the strength of a person’s belief about whether-or-not a specific job performance is attainable. In other words, “If I put in the effort, will I get the results?”
The strength of this belief can be self-efficacy, or external social proof. For example, the inner dialogue could be “I am confident to complete these actions” or “I can see other people putting in effort and getting results, so I can too.”
Several factors contribute to expectancy perceptions: The level of difficulty of the task, the amount of support that may be expected from superiors and subordinates, the quality of the materials and equipment and the availability of pertinent information.
The belief that “if I complete certain actions then I will get the reward”.
Back to that big brain of yours, it likes to be rewarded and for it to create the dopamine required to motivate you, it must belief the reward will follow the effort.
With Self-leadership, we are in control of the reward, but if we are dependent on an organization or system to provide us our reward, we must trust that they will come through.
If you are a leader it is essential to follow through on your promises, or you will be faced with significant resentment from those that engaged in effort based on those promises.
Valence or attractiveness, means that there must not just be reward for effort, but that it is the right sort of reward – and ‘one size does not fit all’.
This is where your emotions come in. Expectancy was logical but Valance is about how will you feel when you achieve the result – do you value the reward?
As a manager or leader, you must discover what’s important to your people. Is it extrinsic [money, promotion, free time, benefits] or intrinsic [satisfaction].
So, there you have it, a formula to motivate yourself or others.
So next time you are working with your team, run this checklist:
- Have I defined the goal?
- Have I defined what actions (effort) will lead to performance
- Have I provided evidence that this is possible?
- Are my people confident to perform these actions?
- Do I know what rewards my people want?
- Have I set up a system to reward them?
- Am I verbally appreciating their actions and results?
♜ Andrew Bryant is a Global Expert on Self Leadership & Leading Cultures. He partners with international & global organizations to develop leaders and leadership cultures. www.selfleadership.com
✽ Invited to speak in 20+ countries on 4 continents with 150,000+ people inspired, he is known to be an effective, confident, humorous & thought provoking motivational & TEDx speaker. www.andrewbryant.global