Slope of Hope Blog Posts

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Understanding The Motivation of Others (by Mark St.Cyr)

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Motivation is a funny thing. Many think all one needs to do is
articulate some reason to move in a certain direction, back it up with a
rah rah speech, throw in an incentive as reward, and you’ll get people
moving toward your direction. You won’t.

This seems counter intuitive to so many because they’ll go to some
motivational talk. Seemingly get all riled up. Watch in agreement as
everyone’s nodding heads, clapping hands, smiling at each other, and so
forth – then they leave. And in about the same time the effect of a cup
of espresso wears off; they’re right back to where they were before.

It’s because most treat motivating someone as an external process.
True motivation is internal. People in business and politics get this
fundamental principle wrong every time because it seems counter
intuitive to them. They look at the results of a meeting, see the people
looking attentive, nodding in unison, and within hours to days it’s
like the rally or meeting never happened. Their answer to this? More
meetings, more speeches. Which in the end shuts down any motivation for
listening to anything further.

This week we were confronted with the failed negotiations which
forced the closing of Hostess Brands Inc. aka the makers of Twinkies®.

It would appear by all reports there was one faction of workers
deciding to call the companies bluff. Everyone looking in from the
outside both during and after the negotiations are left shaking their
heads asking how could they have let it happen?

The company and others tried “motivating” a change in their position
by appealing with the logical fact that they would shut down the entire
corporation resulting in nearly 20, 000 workers including themselves
losing their jobs.

The consequences expressed for trying to resolve the workers demands
were moot if those consequences have no real personal frame of
reference. How many of these workers really believed the company would
close or shut down? I would venture to say not many.

The danger that was being portrayed during the stand off seemed to be
in the belief that the “motivation” for not allowing it to happen would
be the dire consequences if no resolution were found. However – exactly
how do you motivate someone to avoid the so-called “consequences” if
they have no personal frame of reference to equate it to?

So far they’ve already been through a prior bankruptcy. They’ve
watched company after company bantered across the media landscape where
government, or some other entity has come in at some final hour to save
or stop the disaster. Why would this time be any different?

Just as in love. I can spend an eternity trying to explain it, and
you’ll never quite grasp it. Fall in love for 15 seconds, and you’ll
never forget for all eternity. Without this fundamental understanding
shared and felt by both parties – you won’t motivate anyone to do

They tried to motivate these employees with incentives, warnings, and
anything you can shake a stick at. However if internally they didn’t
believe it would happen – and have no personal frame of reference of the
consequences. You aren’t going to challenge their position
successfully. Only the tragedy of finding the bluff was not a bluff will
serve as a very real motivating factor for others in similar

All others now know, and understand the consequences that are
possible. This is what I referred to earlier as “internal.” Moving
others by using or citing this example will now serve as a “motivation.”
These consequences are now manifest. Self evident. Easily internalized,
where a person can rationalize within ones self with emotion the very
real possibility of – this can happen to me. Here is where true
‘motivation’ begins, and ends.

It’s sad tales like this that will now be the reference point in many
forthcoming negotiations to motivate others in moving one way or the
other. Such a large company, an American iconic brand, and thousands of
workers losing their jobs with such immediacy. From this frame of
reference you can now appeal to others in trying to ‘motivate” a person
or group to move. Consequences can be internalized. They’ve become

People think, act, and will change direction in a heartbeat. Yet
there is one caveat, and without it they’ll stand pat. They must
actually believe what is being told to them is real. Without it – you’ll
only be perceived as selling snake oil. And they’ve already got a
closet full.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

RAW RANDY RAM SLAM……Evil Plan 97.0 (by BDI)

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Under the current ZIRP strangle hold economic headlock, the equity market is the only transmission mechanism the Fed has left to get the funny money out to the consuming peeps, further recapitalize the banks, support baby boomer 401Ks, and keep the retirees' pension funds solvent!

They must create at least 5% returns per year via the faux propped up stock market, otherwise the real economy, the major banks and underfunded pension liabilities go bust!  There is no other choice, we are in way too deep, up a crooked crony creek!

The USA WWF is gonna crush the whole wide world, with a rude raw dog global reserve currency smackdown, Randy Ram Slam style…….until all nations bleed and cry out no mas………then WW3!


BDI SOH's Idiot Savant