Back to Workplace Leadership

Leadership Styles versus Motivation

Leadership style influence level of motivation. However, throughout a lifetime, man’s motivation is influenced by changing ambitions and/or leadership style he works under or socializes with. Command-and-control leadership drains off ambition while worker responsibility increases ambition.

Leadership Style versus Motivation

Leadership Style Motivation Type Motivation is Based on: Personality Type Efficiency

Limited supervision

Worker with decision making responsibility

Self motivated Inspired
Leader of ideas or people.
Thrives on change


Team motivated

Mixed styles

Goal motivated Opportunity

Personality type and efficiency depends on leader's skill and/or the work environment he's created.

Reward motivated Materialism
Recognition motivated Social status

High level of supervision


Peer motivated To be like others Status quo
Resist change


Authority motivated Follows policy
Threat, fear motivated Reacts to force

Reaction to Change

Reaction to change in the workplace. Command-and-control leadership is the primary style in our society. It is accepted because efficiency is created by repetitive action, teaching people to resist change. Once acquiring a skill, they do not want to learn another. The worker adapts to level three with an occasional trip to level two.

Worker responsibility is just the opposite, it motivates people to thrive on change by seeking challenges, finding ways to achieve goals. Level one is the leader of changing technology, finding ways to create efficiency. (Click on image)

Reaction to Efficiency

The efficiency of advancing technology is forcing change. It is up to the individual or business to decide which side of change they want to be on, the leading edge or trailing edge. The leading edge is exciting while the trailing edge is a drag. Playing catch-up drains motivation while leaders of change inspire motivation.

With today’s changing technology, an individual must be willing to abandoned old skills and learn new ones. The ability to adapt is achieved through self-development programs. Because level one thrives on change, they adapt to whatever methods gets things done with the least amount of effort. This brings us to work habits.

In level one, management and front line workers, together, are searching for ways to solve and prevent problems. Decisions are made on the front line where alternative methods are analyzed. Being able to prevent problems is a motivating force. In level three management makes all decision, as a result, management must find ways to solve all problems and find alternative methods. Front line employees may be aware conflicts, but they don’t have the authority to take action and have learned not to be concerned. Supervisors are only concerned with elements that management thinks are important.

Under command-and-control leadership, management considers the opinions or concerns of people on the front line to be trivial. As a result, management takes action only when problems become too big to ignore. If workers have conflicts with their supervisors, they will find ways to increase the magnitude of problems, creating a combative environment. A downward spiral of management implementing more control and workers resisting control develop. Under worker responsibility, management and workers unite to prevent or solve problems.

Leadership style and volume of elementry problems.

Team Motivated

Elementary problems are prevented or solved at the source. Getting the job done is the primary goal of management and workers.

Dependency of Authority

Elementary problems are dealt with by management when large enough to be recognized.

Abused Workers

Lack of leadership skills and the desire for power creates elementary problems. Managers focus on worker control. Getting the job done is down the list. Workers goal is to find ways to do little as possible.

  Command and Control Leadership - Problems are always out of control.

Reaction to Learning Habits

In level two, young workers are establishing work habits, developing attitudes and learning a professional skill. Out of training and on the job, motivation level will depend on the leadership style they work under. Under command-and-control leadership, ambitions will be associated with maintaining the status quo. Under worker responsibility, ambitions will be associated with opportunity. They will continually expand their skills as the need or as opportunity arises.

Reaction to Goals

Self-motivated people are goal motivated. Once they conquer one goal, they establish another. Every goal is a learning process that requires all the elements in level one. Companies that attract and keep this type of person stay on the leading edge of technology. The CEO is a visionary in customer service and employee leadership. The employees' goals are the same as the CEO’s.

If the CEO desires control, then he will lead in such a way that trains subordinates to lead by control. As a result, the employees' goals are quitting time and payday.

Reaction to Recognition

Recognition is important; it builds positive self-esteem. By itself, its benefits are short lived. Long-term benefits are achieved when the employee feels the job could not have been done without them. This means they were faced with a challenge, which means, they had the responsibility and authority to take action. This environment is found in level one.

Self Motivated Projects

Self-motivated projects' is the ability to start and finish what one has started. Most people, working alone, do not finish what they start.

The ability to finish challenging projects is the secret to being a winner. First requirement is interest, then asking questions which inspires' the learning process. With information, a challenge is presented and a goal set. When action is taken, the barriers of persistence, risk, fear and failure become a challenge by itself. 

Self-motivated projects are difficult because no one cares if they succeed, which is another barrier. This is why most people quit before they get a good start. People, who find ways to overcome barriers and hang in there, are the winners. They develop skills and confidence, which are required steps to larger projects.

Team Motivated Projects

Everyone can be inspired to achievement in a team-motivated environment. With a common goal, team members support each other until success is achieved. In this environment, others do care and team members are needed for achieving the goal. For this reason, team motivation is extremely powerful. The exchange of ideas, information and testing the results, adds to the motivating force. As a result, each member seeks to be a leader of quality input.

A Burning Desire, with a bigger than life vision, can Overcome All Barriers

Level of personal achievement is based on the size of a personal vision. Super achievers have a vision that is bigger then life. Most people limit their goals to socially acceptable standards, not what they feel. Everyone has different talent, interest and learning methods. Goals must be in harmony with these attributes. Finding harmony is another barrier to overcome. When harmony is found and a burning desire established, success will be found no matter what your social surroundings or previous experience.

A burning desire is the foundation for productive motivation. You do not need to hear motivational speakers or have money to start. You already have the startup tool - creativity, just use it. Dreams stimulate creative thinking. Turning dreams into mini projects produces a burning desire, many successful mini projects is preparation for the bigger than life vision.

Every person, at some time, had a desire to be an achiever. For many, this ambition was destroyed. Under the right leadership, this latent desire can come back to life.

Additional Information

Back to Workplace Leadership

Welcome to the Motivation Tool Chest

For many, this page is their entry to  this website. There are lots of exciting things happening here. On leadership, there are thought provoking statements at the Motivation Tool Chest home page. The home page of this section Motivation in the Workplace is loaded with useful leadership tips and concepts. The goal, "helping you overcome barriers so you can live the lifestyle of your dreams."