This fun video from RSA animate caught my eye and got me thinking about what drives people to perform. There are a couple of key points that go together and this should not be missed. One point is the video’s main point – that purpose is what motivates people. The other point – make sure you don’t miss it, because it’s only briefly mentioned in the video – is to “pay enough to take money off the table.” Many people believe that purpose alone is enough to motivate high performance, but I believe that both points are essential to building effective teams.
It’s not unusual for people who succeed in performance organizations (those who are not just task-oriented but solution-oriented) to display an expensive lifestyle. It’s easy to assume that luxury motivates these high performers, but in reality, it’s just another way that their competitive nature gets expressed. For these performers, it takes more money for compensation to no longer be a motivating factor. In other words “enough” is a relative term that must align with the type of person being motivated.
While good sales people gravitate to companies that pay well, they also know they’ll be more successful if they believe in what they are selling. This is vital to remember. Every sales person knows that a high percentage of nothing is still nothing, so the marketability of a product is a critical consideration. And this is where purpose completes the equation.
Many companies’ mission statements often list “what” they do and “how” they do it, but few explain the motivation behind their mission. Demonstrating “why” you do what you do provides the purpose salespeople need to excel. It also invites buyers to consider “why” they should buy from you.
Combining purpose with compensation is key to motivating your staff and setting your company up for unprecedented sales performance.