Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’


I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport in Dubai. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card
and said: ‘I’m Abdul, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d
like you to read my mission statement.’

Taken aback, I read the card.
It said: Abdul’s Mission Statement: “To get my customers to their destination
in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.”

This blew me away. Especially
when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly

As he slid behind the wheel,
Abdul said, ‘Would…

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Even If It’s Hard Work And An Unvarying Routine?

Check this out:

vide Rubi Navaratnam and Gopalakrishna Sunderrajan 

Go here if the clip doesn’t show.


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Some have all the luck!

China 1


China 3

China 4




Source: net

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and the sticks too.

From Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by  Daniel H. Pink via Delancey.com (lightly edited)


“Behavioral scientists often divide what we do on the job or learn in school into two categories: ‘algorithmic’ and ‘heuristic.’ An algorithmic task is one in which you follow a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one conclusion. That is, there’s an algorithm for solving it. A heuristic task is the opposite. Precisely because no algorithm exists for it, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise a novel solution. Working as a grocery checkout clerk is mostly algorithmic. You do pretty much the same thing over and over in a certain way. Creating an ad campaign is mostly heuristic. So are designing new software, inventing new products…

“During the twentieth century, most work was algorithmic — and not just jobs where you turned the same screw the same way all day long. Even when we traded blue collars for white, the tasks we carried out were often routine. That is, we could reduce much of what we did — in accounting, law, computer programming, and other fields — to a script, a spec sheet, a formula, or a series of steps that produced a right answer. … The consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates that in the United States, only 30 percent of job growth now comes from algorithmic work, while 70 percent comes from heuristic work. A key reason: Routine work can be outsourced or automated; artistic, empathetic, non-routine work generally cannot.

“The implications for motivation are vast. Researchers such as Harvard Business School’s Teresa Amabile have found that external rewards and punishments — both carrots and sticks — can work nicely for algorithmic tasks. But they can be devastating for heuristic ones…

Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus. That’s helpful when there’s a clear path to a solution. They help us stare ahead and race faster. But ‘if-then’ motivators are terrible for [complex conceptual problems]. As experiments show, the rewards narrowed people’s focus and blinkered the wide view that might have allowed them to see new uses for old objects.”




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Make Customers A Good Reason To Go To Work This Morning And Every…

And think of this: We, in service sector, do good to our customers again and again often see their happiness right before our eyes and get paid for it too!  Even Bill Gates giving away his billions in philanthropy doesn’t get to do that.




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happy-new-year-quotes-cards-71 (1).jpg

For us, it’s already here.



PS: Copied from here and here.

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Source: www



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Source: Internet

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It happened some years ago but I can recall the evening like it happened just last week.

I was in an audience listening to a motivational guru.

At this point, the speaker whipped out his wallet and pulled out a five-hundred rupee note.

Holding it up, he asked, “Who wants this five hundred rupee note? No strings attached, I assure you.”

An amount not to be scoffed at in those days.

For a moment the audience was taken by surprise at this unusual offer. Quickly recovering, a few hands went up quite hesitatingly. Picking up courage thereafter, lot of hands went up. Including mine.

As the excitement built up, people stood up and shouted to get his attention.

I began to wonder who the lucky one would be that the speaker would choose and what would be the basis.

And I also secretly wondered — and I am sure others did too — why he would simply give away five hundred rupees. There must be a catch somewhere I’m not seeing.

Even as the shouts of grew louder with arms pumping into the air, I noticed a young woman running down the aisle.

Running girl clipartist.net

She ran up onto the dias, went up to the speaker, and grabbed the five hundred-rupee note from his hand.

The audience did not know what to make of this unexpected display of unabashed ‘impetuosity’.  .

“Well done, young lady, it’s all yours,” said the speaker into the microphone. Winking slyly at us he said: ‘I told you there were no conditions to claim.’

Making his point, he said, ‘We wanted the five-hundred rupees on offer. And we waited for the good thing to happen to us.  Not content with wanting, this lady here acted and made it happen for herself.’





Source: Adapted from a Fwd from Prof R. D. Kumar (ex-I I T, Mumbai) and image from clipartist.net

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Q: The concept of ‘nishkama karma’ (work without attachment to the outcome) espoused in Bhagwat Gita seems to allow for employers to deny employees and also to accept perfunctory performance. What is it for real?

A: As you suspect the concept runs much deeper. Let me explain:

At our work-place a role is assigned to us: a salesman, a fitter, a coder

Each of these roles has a code of conduct specifying behaviors implied by the role. This is in essence the dharma of the role. It is usually prescriptive focusing on the steps more than the outcome. We must consider ourselves sworn to uphold the role’s dharma. This is exactly like the Hippocrates’ Oath associated with doctors (though contrary to common belief, they don’t take the oath). We’re required to practice the role dharma to the best of our abilities.

Since our behavior is demanded by the role and its dharma, in a way, we could say we are employed not so much by the employer as by the role. At the next step of simplification, it gets even more interesting. If we fold the abstract into the real i.e. if we merge the role with the man, it turns out we’re our employer!

Now, does this mean while we perform like we’re our own employer, the real employer takes advantage of the situation?

Well, to be honest, he might. Note most importantly our behavior however is not affected by the adharmic behavior of the employer. It is perfectly legitimate to counter the adharma of the employer through our efforts of assessing the situation (is the employer truly adharmic?), negotiating with him and employing other persuasive tactics to make him see reason and finally work out an acceptable middle-ground or even accept the employer’s position. As a last resort, the dharmishtan (practioner of dhrama) may decide to move away to a more conducive location – not a desirable outcome for the employer if he knows what’s good for him.

In our daily lives we interact with numerous entities that may or may not practice their respective dharma’s to our disadvantage. For instance a vegetable vendor may overcharge for his produce.We are free to counter these as we see fit not largely affecting our practice of dharma.

In real life things get a little more complex. Firstly each of us plays a multitude of roles at different times and in different contexts: an employee, a boss, a father/mother, a son/daughter, a husband/wife, a customerEach of these roles has its own dharma. Where is the role’s dharma written? It can’t be in the ancient texts since some of these roles are entirely contemporary. Actually it is a lot simpler than it appears. For instance any service related role would imply striving for satisfaction of its customer through some service-specific means, etc. etc. At the time of marriage we take a lot of oaths (unfortunately we in India hardly understand what we mouth as these are in Sanskrit) about our conduct with our spouses as described in old texts/scriptures. A practical subset of these oaths could serve as the dharma for our role.

When we do this across all roles we play, does it result in a bewildering variety of dharmic prescriptions, too many to keep track? Fortunately it is possible to reduce all of these to a few strong injunctions like the Ten Commandments – a list that we created, believe in, strongly motivated to uphold in our lives. More enduring than the use of carrot and sticks. Examples: I’ve tried to inculcate in my daughters from young as part of ethics in life: ‘Don’t touch what does not rightly belong to you.’ A professional’s dharma would include the obligation to deliver the best service/solution for his customer. It implies the professional must update himself with recent developments in his field. Of course these dharmic mandates may carry realistic qualifiers.

Coming back to one of the original questions: Does the concept of nishkama karma breed mediocrity? The answer is: The criterion for good performance is already built into the role dharma. Thus below-par performance cannot be passed off as dharmic compliance.

One final question – why are we introducing a fancy term dharma? Isn’t the term ‘duty’ adequate for the purpose?

Well, a big no. The terms dharma and dharmishtan are much more powerful concepts. They connote ownership, empowerment, self-image and even pride in the practice.

Note the above concepts are secular and simply practical – by no means altruistic.

Hope this clarifies.

So where do we go from here?

It’s quite a light and simple process. As an illustrative example, let’s take a software development shop and a professional working there in.

We give him a small set of dharmic principles that emanate from the organization’s vision and culture. We give him the choice of adding a few on his own, of course, in line with the operations of the organization and his role. We agree on how to look at his compliance over time. After,say, six months or so we do a supportive review to figure out how far he is gone in building the persona for himself. Note these principles are not to be confused with KRA’s or performance goals. Neither do we interfere with the customary review/appraisal process until we have more data and maturity in this experiment. The dharmic principles are not so volatile over time, they are not project specific, they are more to do with what is right for the professional to do in his role. Example: The bane of most organizations in this space is the failure to share knowledge. Would it get better if this is incorporated as a dharmic principle that he proudly owns as part of his professional persona?

Well, needs to be tried out.


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