Motivation and how we identify ourselves are keys to understanding why we do things – in leadership why things are done and how to get them done.

Studies have shown that intrinsic motivation, an important aspect of self-determination theory (SDT) AS WELL AS extrinsic motivation are described by how we “internalize them”. Essentially, how we make them personal.

Something to keep in mind, and I do not have immediate references now which I can find for you if necessary… when things are made personal, they begin to matter. And so when we choose “intrinsic” as the type of motivation that we follow activities are simply good because they are good and satisfy us. When we choose “extrinsic” they are those motivators which are determined by externalities. These externalities, though, remain internal, and so consider the following: whether intrinsic or extrinsic we choose what motivates us and the end goal is what determines whether an outside source is important to use as the motivator or not.

This is something to keep in mind when leading and managing, when working from home, training, even when teaching as I do as well. We cannot, whether we try to or think they do not affect us, find motivation in what is never personal at some point.

Remember, personal is important. When are importances not personal? Even when they are not immediately belonging to [us] directly, they remain important enough to become personal, to be motivations, and to propel action. Action is the end goal at every point. Regardless your arena the final goal is TO DO something. And so, going back to intrinsic and extrinsic, self-determination, and motivation, we truly can think of determination as a possible need for your teams to understand the why behind their actions and the why behind the better action than none at all.

There is a lot of research associated with these topics and themes, and while they are excellent for so many reasons we at times need to eliminate barriers to simple, elementary understanding. Think of how we each need to determine our places in teams, let’s say. Within these determinants we need to decide as to why we do what we do. So intrinsic, extrinsic. Is it something that simply is satisfying and done for that reason solely or is it extrinsic and satisfying in an indirect way not only one which is used for externalities. These can be just the same.

It may be helpful to make intrinsic motivations extrinsic at times. In COVID-19 days, extrinsic works well. It’s satisfying, personally, but the external goal is essential now just the same. I suggest we internalize and make important external motivators just the same. Consider that the external has importance like a final goal whether direct or indirect.

What do you think of “We’re In This Together”? Intrinsic? Extrinsic? Both? It depends on how you want your teams to work. What’s important to them? It may be more difficult under stress to find it easy to modify from extrinsic to intrinsic. Consider marketing extrinsic as personal just as intrinsic would. Extrinsic has values just as intrinsic does. We are not at a state in time where it’s simple to add values that were not inherent in our understanding to begin new paradigms and parameters. Let’s work with what we have. It’s better and will succeed much better as well.

Extrinsic motivators have a bad name. They shouldn’t.

Best,

Lily