The Magic Of Intrinsic Motivation

In April's blog posts, I would like to discuss the several executive coaching lessons that can be drawn from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In this blog post, we look at the harsh reality of using extrinsic motivations to build teams. 

Imagine being one of the five lucky kids to get a chance to tour Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. It's every child's dream come true, but for Willy Wonka, it's a chance to find his successor. He offers five golden tickets, which excite potential candidates to join the corporate race. But as the story unfolds, we learn that out of the five invited kids, only one truly possessed traits that were compatible with Willy Wonka's passion for chocolate. It makes us wonder if the golden ticket was enough to drive the desired behaviors from the employees. 

The story of Willy Wonka and the golden ticket offers a valuable lesson that can be applied to the workplace. Intrinsic motivation such as creating a positive work culture that values employees' contributions and fostering a sense of purpose and connection to the company's mission and values are far more important than extrinsic motivators such as salary, bonuses, and promotions. While they may initially excite potential candidates, they may not be enough to cultivate long-term motivation and engagement.

This lesson can be particularly relevant for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that often struggle to compete with larger corporations for talent in the marketplace. SMEs can benefit from getting creative with their recruitment process and look beyond the traditional "golden ticket" approach. Rather than solely focusing on a candidate's experience, skills, and network, they can assess a candidate's empathy and integrity, and prioritize finding candidates motivated by intrinsic rewards, such as a shared passion for the company's mission or a desire to make a positive impact. By offering personal development coaching programs, SMEs can help nurture and empower their workers to take creative ownership and achieve excellence for themselves and the organization. They can also strive to align their employee's values with the company's higher-order mission through activities and causes that engage with the local communities. This will help them build teams aligned with their values and nurture a cohesive culture that can help drive the success of their businesses.

In conclusion, the story of Willy Wonka and the golden ticket reminds us that intrinsic motivators are far more effective than extrinsic ones in driving long-term motivation and engagement. As an SME owner, it's essential to look beyond the "golden ticket" and prioritize a positive work culture, personal and professional development, and alignment of values with the company's mission. By doing so, you can attract high-performing candidates motivated by intrinsic rewards and build a team that will help drive the success of your business.

Disclaimer: In light of the recent news that Roald Dahl's children's books are being rewritten, I certainly agree that there are certainly some aspects of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that may be inappropriate and insensitive for certain audiences. As a disclaimer, I would like to clarify that while the story contains some elements that may be considered inappropriate, the focus of this discussion will be on specific themes or lessons that are relevant to transformational leadership and growth mindset concepts. 
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