Management: Inspiring Your People for Maximum
by Alexander Hiam
Paperback, 256 pages.
List price $18.95
Overall Rating: *** Snail mail it
How enthusiastic do you feel about your work? What
motivates you to do your best? What tools can you use
to motivate the other members of your team?
This month’s book provides practical answers
to these questions and many others relating to
workplace motivation. Topics range from creating a
positive performance environment to rethinking how we
structure work and communicate with others. Tools for
recognizing, eliminating, and counteracting those
things that demotivate are also presented. Along the
way, you’ll learn more about the following
- The difference between internal and external
motivation and which is more successful in the long
- Ways to invite participation.
- How to assess emotions about work and move from
negative to positive and from inactive to
- Requirements for incentive programs.
- Levels of feedback.
- How to give control, eliminate unfairness, and
manage conflicts productively.
- Different types of negative attitudes and how
to turn them around.
- Different kinds of work motives and how to
match rewards to motives.
- How to track motivation using seven different
Much of this boils down to mastering five key
skills (p. 84):
- Give clear assignments. “Everyone knows
what they are expected to do.”
- Provide sufficient resources. “They know
how to do it and have the resources they need to do
- Set achievable challenges. “Nobody has
excessively easy or excessively difficult work,
since either extreme is demotivating.”
- Give rich feedback. “They can track how
they are doing with clear scoreboards and feedback
from as many sources as possible.”
- Communicate meaningful purpose. “They see
why their work is important and what goals it helps
The book is structured in ways that make it useful
for training. An appendix provides learning goals for
each chapter and each chapter ends with a concise
summary. Thirty exercises provide a variety of
assessment tools as well as opportunities to practice
the skills presented, and 20 case examples help
explain the concepts. To get the most out of the
book, readers should take the time to thoughtfully
complete each of the exercises.
The book is targeted at leaders and will be most
useful to those responsible for creating and
maintaining a high level of work group motivation.
Leaders are advised that their personal motivation
level serves as a ceiling for the motivation of the
rest of the team, and they’re cautioned that
their own negative attitudes are invariably
For those who are not leaders, the book provides
insight into personal motivation and ideas for
improving the emotional environment at work. With
some thought, concepts can be extended beyond work
situations to other groups of people—family,
school, civic or religious organizations,
professional associations, etc.
This book will not provide a quick fix for
motivational problems. (Remember, there is no
“instant pudding” when it comes to
long-term, sustainable improvement.) It will,
however, provide food for thought, practical
diagnostic tools, and useful advice. It also
challenges everyone to believe that motivation can be
both managed and improved.
CHRISTINE ROBINSON has more
than 25 years of leadership experience in quality
systems for the process industries. She has a
master’s degree in quality, values, and
leadership from Marian College. An avid reader, she
spends a significant amount of her time with her nose
in books and her body at the library.