Thursday, January 24, 2008


Many of us in the industry and business often overlook the simple fact that it is Man who becomes Manager. Perhaps semantics of the word is meaningful – it is the aged man who should become a manager. The process of aging brings in various changes in the physiology and psychology of Man and only those who undergo the best ripening process end up as successful Managers. One of the most important factors that will make a good manager is the types of motivation he or she has passed through. But for motivation no one will perform and but for performance no one can become a manager. Motivation and performance being so closely related the real managerial qualities of any manager is directly dependent on the quality of motivation he has received or undergone.

Motivation is nothing but an urge or reason to perform. It is always required for any man to perform any task. Thus it is basic to every human action and let us not go into it. What we need to look at a bit more seriously here is the process of motivating intelligent and qualified individuals to become successful managers. It is quite different to perform at different levels and to excel as a manager needs extra-ordinary types of motivation. Many management pundits reach the conclusion that ‘managers are born and not made’ based on their inability to decipher the process of motivation. Managers are born or made, but to become a successful manager needs motivation for the mind, body and spirit.

Progressive Motivation

It was Abraham Maslow who studied the behavior of outstanding individuals and concluded that people have certain needs which are unchanging and genetic in origin. These needs are the same in all cultures and are both physiological and psychological. Maslow described these needs as being hierarchal in nature, meaning that some needs are more basic or more powerful than others and as these needs are satisfied, other higher needs emerge. Motivation in workplace is nothing but fulfilling these needs of individuals so that they perform what they are supposed to. While a worker will need more and more of his physical needs to be satisfied for improved performance, those in managerial cadre would look for psychological elements as well. A well designed systematic scheme for progressive motivation of the labour force can yield very good results in any industry.

But providing progressive motivation for the managerial cadre is a totally different game. It is not always easy and straight-forward to motivate managers. Pleasure, fortune and fame can form the important parameters for designing any motivational program. By designing a program that will provide increasing elements of these three parameters attached to higher hierarchical positions, it is definitely possible to motivate the ordinary folk to perform and aspire for higher positions. The triple carrots of more money, more power and more name have motivated and produced many legendary managers in every industry. And many of them have made their mark by writing about their ideas and experiences as extra-ordinarily motivated managers. But what we do not hear is about their eventual disillusionment with all their achievements. What is lacking in every one of our motivational schemes is the spiritual element that will take care of those who are already at the pinnacle of their motivational status.

Ultimate Motivation

It is truly difficult to find out the exact nature of anything that can motivate a manager at the height of his achievement and career. It might vary from person to person. Fame and fortune may not be attractive anymore, and it might become counter-productive as well. And as senior citizens, it cannot be something that will provide more pleasure and joy. What else can it be? What can possibly appeal to those aged men who have proved themselves as outstanding managers? The best guess is that it will be something that will address their spirits. Motivating the spirit and soul can become more important at the very top of a hierarchy of needs. It is common knowledge that the desire for spiritual aspects of life becomes more and more accentuated as we age.

The best illustration of such an unconventional form of motivation appears in the Hindu holy book of Bhagavat Gita wherein Lord Krishna motivates a war-manager Arjun, who had put down his weapons in the midst of a battlefield, to pick it up again. The Lord achieves the unimaginable task by explaining the theory of dharma to a confused and diffident warrior. For Arjun, who is a warrior by his karma, there is no choice but to fight for justice. This is an outstanding feat when we consider the fact that any warrior, even if he is the best, could be killed in a war and a great warrior like Arjun knew the risks involved. Yet he was compelled to rise again because there is no other way he could satisfy his own conscience and justify his existence. The argument that each man is irrevocably destined to carry out his duties according to his dharma is the ultimate form of motivation possible.

As in every other field of knowledge, Science and Religion converge at this point in Motivation Management. What Science and Religion cannot achieve of their own, their terrific combination can do in a wonderful way. The process of aging is natural and it will no doubt work on the individuals and make them heed to the call of dharma more and more as they age. And by defining the dharma of President, Vice-President, General Manager, HR Manager etc., the incumbents will be motivated to perform and even aspire for higher positions at old age. Fulfilling one’s own dharma, at least endeavoring for it, is the one and only way to attain ‘moksha’ or reach heaven (as the case may be for followers of different religions). Thus ‘Krishnaic Motivation’ can definitely provide an inspiring, motivating and even compelling basis for motivation of managers of all ages.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found your article very interesting for indeed, I have found that same thing to be true of my own experience. My motivation came to a place where my religion helped me make a decision to work as a consultant and project manager. My motivation was to leave the standard type of job and put myself out in the work environment with the work I chose. It is, as you say, a meeting of science and theology or religion. I shall use your article as a way to show others that there can be more motivation if one truly wants to look introspectively. Thank you.