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Eating My Words on Praise?

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I have been on my soapbox for years warning you to stop saying the words: “I’m proud of you.” Do I need to eat my words? Last week I delivered my first-ever academic paper at an international conference. Yes, I dared to stand in front of researchers who crunch data for a living and explain the common and unique variance of leaders’ use of power on people’s motivation. I studied for weeks, received tutoring from a real statistician, and practiced aloud. All for a  »  Read More

It’s Not About Records — Why Steph Curry Inspires Me

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Even if you are not a basketball fan, you are probably aware of the Stephen Curry phenomenon. If you are a fan, you admire Steph not only for the sheer fun and excitement he brings to basketball but also for how he’s changed the game itself. This season, Steph made more 3-pointers than the average NBA team did for the first 25 years that the 3-point shot existed. Steph hit 126 more shots than anybody else has ever hit — 1.53 per game over the course of an 82-game season. This is not about  »  Read More

What to Do? My People Lost Their Spark

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A high-level sales manager (we’ll call him Joe) challenged me — taking exception to my statement that incentives, rewards and prizes are not optimal tactics for motivating his sales reps. Joe was attending my session on motivation because his reps had been hyped during a new product launch but they recently “lost their spark.” Since the incentive plan for the launch had ended, Joe had nothing more to motivate them. He tried appealing to their competitive nature, but they didn’t  »  Read More

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