Leaders as Motivators

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To be considered an effective leader one has to have the ability to prompt the group or team to obtain attain a quality level of work, productivity and some level of satisfaction in the job being done (Durbin, 2010, p. 98). Whether one is a natural “Problem Solver” or “Developer” type of leader, there is an underlying trait that all successful leaders seem to share; this is the ability to motivate or impel others to action. For example, the CEO of Coca-Cola Inc. Muhtar Kent , was once questioned if visiting stores and manufacturing facilities(as well as other stops along the supply chain) was considered prudent use of his time. Kent’s response was that it is time well spent if it helps to “motivate his employees” (Ignatius, 2011). Clearly Kent understood that motivation of his employees was an important component of the success of Coca Cola, Inc. Effective Motivators can use different motivational theories and strategies in the development of their skills in rallying employees to work at the highest level possible. These include Expectancy Theory, Goal Theory and Positive Reinforcement.

There are two main theories that can be used to understand action based on motivation, Expectancy Theory and Goal Theory (Durbin, 2010, p. 286). Both theories if understood can be used to increase quality of leadership and motivational skills at the managerial level. Expectancy Theory is a process type theory based on return on investment. In other words, if a worker expended a great effort for “X” amount of work, that worker will expect to be rewarded by how much effort they put into the task or project. What this theory signifies is that a person is most apt to volunteer for a project in which they feel they can “handle the most” and ...

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By studying and gaining understanding of Expectancy and Goal Theory as well as positive reinforcement and recognition, a leader can learn to become a motivator when the need arises and help employees rise to challenges once thought unobtainable.

Works Cited

Berl, R. L., Williamson, N. C., & Powell, T. (1984). Industrial sales force motivation: A critique and test of Maslow's hierarchy of need. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 4(1), 33-39.

Dubrin, A. (2010). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills (6th ed., p. 98, 286, 290). E-edition: Cengage Learning.

Ignatius, A. (2011). Motivator in chief. Harvard Business Review, 89(10), 18.

Sadri,G. & Bowden, R. (2011). Meeting employee requirements: Maslow's hierarchy of needs is still a reliable guide to motivating staff. Industrial Engineer: IE, 43(10), 44-48.

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