Don't blame people, avoid punishing them, empower people, let them to Drive themselves, motivate people positively. Have you heard about this stuff? I have a lot. Basically I agree, but...
A friend told me a story. His is the owner of some organization from the IT industry. Once the organization cooperated with dishonest supplier who hadn't paid the VAT tax related to their businesses for couple years. (in Poland VAT tax is the way how the sate sicks up the poorest subjects, but it's another story).
During the tax control they obviously discovered the trick an punished the supplier. As a consequence of the case weak invoices were mandated to be removed from the accounting system. Technically there was no business between my friend and the supplier. But my friend deducted VAT tax, so Tax Office request him to refund it. Two million Polish zloty (it's over $500k) in 14 days...well, this is the law.
But he survived, found the win-win solution with Tax Office. Was he motivated positively? I don't think so.
When I think about my business carrier (it has took 7 years since I started our company) I went through lots of fuckups. There was: tiny organization, little bit larger one, almost bankruptcy, UE project with a lot of madness around, we were cheated by a salesman we trust and so on and so forth.
When some investor was unsatisfied because of project one blamed personally me, I was refused so many conferences I even remember, when we started DevCastZone.com I received heaps of emails from frustrated users with many reasons: err 404, to slow, to expensive, I expected something else and so on and so forth.
You know, for the last eight years I was motivated mostly negatively by the environment I worked in. Really! Of course there were days, workshops, coaching sessions when I met attendees needs and it was fucking awesome. These days are like a pearls - they are worth to challenge every single day.
Despite all these things I sill have fun at my work. Actually thanks to these events I achieve all stuff in my work: businesses, books and articles written, presentations made, friends. So, what the hell the idea with positive motivation??
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