Motivation And Caring And Other Things That Move Us

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Motivation and caring

Motivation And Caring And Other Things That Move Us

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Do you believe you are motivated? Are motivation and caring connected? Understanding motivation may not be as simple as many people believe.

Things That Move Us

I have to keep pushing to get this done otherwise I may be fired.

We need the numbers for the meeting on Thursday; next week’s inventory purchases depend on it.

I dropped the customers fragile package but I don’t think anything broke we just need to get this shipped.

Is this about motivation? Is there a connection to caring? I may care about being fired. Do I care about inventory, or would I care more if it were about payroll? I’m measured by orders shipped not by customer satisfaction that is the salespersons job.

I’m not sure that I believe people are either motivated or they are not. In many of our workplace behaviors, I believe people either care or they don’t.

Motivated by Purpose

During leadership-oriented seminars, I’m often compelled to initiate a short discussion about how motivation in the workplace is connected to a sense of purpose. A purpose may be something we care about, or we don’t.

I want to get the data on the Excel worksheet to be exact, no errors. 

That customer has been waiting a long time; I’m going to expedite their shipment.

Jack needs some help and I’m going to stay late with him to get things caught up.

All are connected to caring. Either we care or we don’t. However, some may argue that most of our motivation comes from money.

Leadership Challenge

The challenge then for organizational leaders may come down to one of two paths.

Either our story is persuasive enough to get the employees to care based on a very compelling sense of purpose that is deeply rooted in our culture, or we pay very, very well and base both the principle of motivation and caring to be rooted in compensation.

A third but somewhat different argument may be that both the organization and its employees need some combination of both.

Motivation and Caring

Maybe we should look at it another way.

Do the restaurant employees care if our food that is intended to be served hot is cold? Do they only care if we pay them to care?

Perhaps the motivation for money doesn’t always connect with an organization that cares, but I’ll take the bet that the organization that cares is always motivated.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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