In Barcelona we were teaching a group of 150 professionals and the topic was positive leadership. I asked them to do an exercise and share their insights. The conversation across the large group became increasingly insightful. A man raised his hand and said that 20 years ago a teacher taught him a profound lesson.
The teacher said that if you want to lead you can pay someone to work and the pay will create external motivation. You can pay a person and also expose the person to a sense of purpose and it will create intrinsic motivation. You can pay a person, give them purpose, and open paths so they can fully give themselves away. This creates transcendent motivation.
When we work for pay, we work for ourselves. When we work for a higher purpose, we work for something bigger. When we give ourselves away to that higher purpose, ego disappears and we become servants of the common good. A new self emerges.
- Do the people around me work for pay?
- Are the people linked to a higher purpose?
- Are the people finding and giving themselves away?
- How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?