#245-1. Managers ask me how to motivate the people who report to them. I think that's the wrong question. Stop doing things that demotivate people, and create an environment for success.
#245-2. You can buy a person's time; you can buy his physical presence in a given place; you can even buy a measured number of his skilled muscular motions per hour. But you cannot buy enthusiasm. You cannot buy initiative. You cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls. You have to earn those things.
#245-3. The assets of most businesses walk out of the door at the end of each day. The challenge to management is to create an environment which will motivate them to want to return the next day.
You might wonder if managers really do things to demotivate their teams. Obviously no one sets out in the morning to think up ways to make people feel bad. It could be small, unintentional actions without sensing the reaction. For instance, a manager with a self-perception of being soft might try to be too strict on trivial matters or keep distance from subordinates. Another might spend a lot of time taking care of the star member without realizing how it is perceived by other members. The traditional employer-employee relationship has changed due to many environmental factors but mindsets take longer to accept and adapt.