If you know or read about him, Steve Jobs was not a guy with excellent PR. He said what he thought. He was so straight forward that some people call him rude and many couldn’t get along with him well.
Despite that, Steve was one of the entrepreneurs that revolutionized the world across five industries. He had touched the lives of billions of people. He had changed the way we live, work, and play.
Yet, with his poor human-relationship skills, how did the Apple co-founder convince his colleagues to create what he envisioned?
If you think he lured his workers with money, you are wrong.
If you think he tempted them with power and control, you are wrong too.
Anyway, here’s how he did it:
- He engaged/convinced all of them that they could make a dent in the universe.
- He motivated them to go for perfection and simplicity in every product they created (the result: the products created were simple but so user-friendly that even a small kid could use) including the parts that were hidden.
What do the above two statements have in common? Instead of motivating them with external rewards, Steve did it the other way around. His staff were driven by intrinsic motivation: pride and passion.
Did it work? You bet. Some of his workers worked until fainted due to lack of sleep. That’s how powerful Steve a motivator was.
And let me ask you this: How do you motivate your child?
Many parents choose the easy way out. They motivate the child by giving him toys or gadgets or even money to get him to do what they want.
It’s effective but only for a short time. And it gets more and more difficult to motivate the child as you go along because you run out of ideas “what” to use to motivate him.
We just came back from our week-long Lunar New Year holidays last Tuesday.
As usual, the first thing we did when we reached home was to clean up the house.
K was hesitant when I assigned him the job of cleaning his own bedroom.
I didn’t say much except telling him that if he wanted a clean room by evening, he’d better move his butt and do the chore. Otherwise, he would have a dirty room to sleep in. I told him it’s his choice which one he wanted.
He quickly took a pail and rug and started cleaning the room with J. They were happily cleaning the room when I peeked at them.
I thought that was about it. They took the task one notch up.
J and K told me they wanted to wash all the three bathrooms including ours! I was ecstatic and I said, “Why not?”
Though J and K were in a deadlock when they were cleaning the last bathroom, I felt they were doing a good job.
Later when the chore was done, I asked them what prompted them to wash all three bathrooms. J replied that she wanted to “break” her own record of washing all bathrooms in one go. K said he just wanted to help what J wanted to achieve.
As you can see, I didn’t promise them anything for cleaning up the house. Except that they were rewarded with a nice, clean room. In the end, a sense of pride and satisfaction can go a long way as far as motivation is concerned.
Don’t envy me. It doesn’t work for me all the time but I know clearly that intrinsic motivation is the best way to motivate your child – just like how Steve Jobs motivated his team of engineers and designers to create products that changed the world.
It’s more work and more difficult but it’s also the best and most effective way.
Also with that, I can save some money on maids.
For more effective ideas on parenting, check out “The Nonconformist’s Guide to Parenting.”
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