(Note) Patience & Gratitude #5 – Types of Patience

When I’m studying patience, it kind of obvious to me that there are 2 types of patience generally: physical and psychological.

Now, each type may also be optional or obligatory. Thus, lets look at 4 types of patience.

  1. Optional physical patience such as doing hard labor willingly.
  2. Obligatory physical patience, for example enduring the hot weather or even too cold room.
  3. Optional psychological patience, such as refraining from doing ill-conduct that contradicts sacred knowledge or reason.
  4. Obligatory psychological patience, such as long distance relation.

The obligatory types of patience can be applied to human beings and animals in general, whereas the optional types apply only to us human.

However, some people may only maintain patience for obligatory things, like animals and forsake optional patience.

Qatada said,

Allah has created angels having ream maintain patience for obligatory things, like animals, and forsake optional patience.

Allah has created angels having reason but no desires, animals have desires and no reason,and man has both reason and desires. Therefore, if one’s reason is stronger than his desires, he is more like an angel. On the other hand, if his desires are stronger, he is like an animal.

For example, while a human baby needs nothing but food, the patience that the baby might resorts to in this state of his development is like an animals. However, the older he grows, the stronger his patience by choice. Just as his sexual desires develops, his power of reasoning also develops.

By then, we can realize that what patience by choice really means. But pure patience is not enough to make him refrain from satisfying his desires.

By guidance and life goals, we begins to think of our self-interest, both in this world and the hereafter. Therefore, just as a warrior who fights against an enemy, we must equips and protects ourselves to tame and control our desires.

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(Book Note) Social Startup Success

Buy Now: Amazon ($18.36)| Kinokuniya (MY) (RM 137.21)

A book by philanthropy expert Kathleen Kelly Janus which bases her research on the best practices of America’s most successful nonprofits. And she derives her compelling sections on ideas testing and experimenting from the funding models of innovators in the tech sector.

She also offers counsel for small nonprofits that struggle to grow past their stage of initial seed funding. Throughout the book, she details the aspirations of the social entrepreneurs she covers,  recounting their passion and dedication to spearheading change. Her accounts of how nonprofit leaders transform lives in their neighborhoods and around the world will inspire readers interested in nonprofits and social service.

Reading Notes Points

  • Avoiding costly mistakes: test your ideas first!
  • Practice transparency and accountability. Share the lessons you learn from failure. This remind me of Ray Dalio’s principles.
  • Correlate your vision with the use of “theory of change” model with its program activities which you can track.
  • Develop a funding model that incorporates donations and earned income.
  • When collaborating, try to offer complementary services.
  • Empower your staff.
  • Craft compelling stories to reinforce institutional memory and connect with donors.
  • Beneficiaries can be great ambassadors, but be ethical in using their stories.

Human-Centered Design

Nonprofits don’t have access to angel investors unlike private businesses. Their stakeholders include governments, other organizations, nonprofits doing similar work, researchers, activists and beneficiaries.

Therefore, in order to grow, nonprofits must maximize funding using “human-centered design” which is a cost-effective, responsive cycle of research, brainstorming and prototyping.

New nonprofits should keep costs low when developing their prototypes. 

For example, Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit delivering preschool education to low-income neighborhoods, made a prototype for its Preschool Bus Project using a carpet and some tape, and then furnished it with cheap IKEA furniture. So, they might healthily run their operation at lowest possible Capital Expense and Operation Expense.

Lessons Learned Actually Learned

Any innovation involves trial, error and, often, failure and trying again. No great leap in any industry has been done without significant amount of failing and not giving up. This is the main ingredient on which success is build.

Unsuccessful nonprofits hurt beneficiaries which make ability to learn from mistakes and failing crucial. Therefore, when nonprofit organization can’t admit their failure, their organization will suffer. Since this rob them of the opportunity to actually learn the from their mistakes. And if the culture does not change, the organization will suffer in the long run.

Silicon Valley offer a model for embracing failure in term of its innovators need tolerance for risk. The only way to know if your service is successful is to test it in the field. In addition, change of perspective on how success looks like might also need to change since success might come in stages, and failures have lessons to teach.

For example, GiveWell shares its failures on its website so other nonprofits might learn from its mistakes. Share missteps within your organization; discuss expectations versus real results and problems.

“Keep the focus squarely on solving the problem, as opposed to falling in love with a particular solution.”

Outputs Versus Outcomes

I used to think that outputs and outcomes are synonyms. I was wrong.

Here is an example to illustrate the difference,

Instead of focusing on “outputs,” such as how many people attended a training program, rely on “outcomes,” such as how many attendees go on to get better-paying jobs, or the like.

In order to measure our ‘output’ and ‘outcome’, we need a great deal of sound data, relevant metrics and qualitative analysis. All the fun good stuff. The “theory of change” model sets a goal and defines metrics to track progress over time on a dashboard. So, lets focus more on ‘outcomes’ rather than ‘outputs’. ‘Outputs’ usually just make us look busy with minimal impact.

Earned Income

Self-sustainability is very important. Therefore, the biggest barrier to scaling up is attracting funding. Which involves developing an earned-income strategy, where your organization sells products or services, can help. With subsequent growth, earnings can make up an average of 30% of the budget.

Funders can’t expect nonprofits to follow business models. The Sierra Club, for example, has found that charging membership fees is the funding method best suited to its needs. 

The strongest sectors for testing earned-income strategies are education, global development and youth development. Nonprofits in human rights, criminal justice and environmental protection have less access to earned income for ethical reasons.

Tell Compelling Stories 

As my studies on social media marketing goes, our ability to compellingly tell a story would define how well we do or lack of it. So, needless to say, we need to learn how to be a storyteller.

Inspiring stories abound in the nonprofit world. Your organization should always be the protagonist working against the problem it seeks to solve. The problem is the antagonist. Tell a story that incorporates universal themes, such as the journey of discovery or shared personal challenges.

Think about a ‘hook’.

Ask yourself what your audience wants to hear, what entrenched ideas you’d like to challenge and what you’d like the audience to learn. Connect to your community’s cultural narrative by scanning the media for stories that link to your organization’s mission.

Tell stories that speak to the head and the heart. Beneficiaries’ personal stories have power, but for ethical reasons, do not exploit them. To create “institutional memory,” have employees share stories at meetings.

Again, if you’re into nonprofit organization, this is the book for you.

Buy Now: Amazon ($18.36)| Kinokuniya (MY) (RM 137.21)

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(Book Note) The Leadership Gap

Reading Notes

  • There are “seven archetypes” of leaders which have its own leadership gaps which are opportunity that can be leveraged for greatness.
  • When leaders face challenges, they often fall back on skills and behaviors that served them in the past, but that may not be enough in the present world.
  • Leaders tend to embody one of seven “leadership archetypes,” each with strengths and with “leadership gaps” that can inhibit growth.
  • Recognizing leadership gaps and working to leverage them can make a leader great. In layman term;
    1. “Rebels” are confident and capable, but self-doubt can turn them into “Imposters.”
    2. “Explorers” are intuitive problem solvers, but if they use their intuition to manipulate others, they can become “Exploiters.”
    3. “Truth Tellers” value radical honesty, but suspicion can transform them into “Deceivers.”
    4. “Heroes” take action for the greater good, but fear can convert them to “Bystanders.”
    5. “Inventors” prize innovation, but compromising their integrity can make them “Destroyers.”
    6. “Navigators” can discern the best path through hard times, but if they don’t foster trust within their organizations, they can turn into “Fixers.”
    7. “Knights” serve others for a cause, but if they’re self-serving, they can be “Mercenaries.”

All leaders or aspiring leaders, will face situations which we would resist our go-to strategies. Too often at such points, we tend to avoid the need for change. But in these situation where we should appreciate and grow, but only if we were ready to acknowledge and learn to leverage on our shortcomings, we will become greater leaders.

Leadership style and their respective leadership gaps can be grouped in seven basic, positive archetypes, and each with their own polarity of character, their competing side. No leader conforms, at all times, to any one archetype. But most people have a tendency toward a single type all the time.

Identifying and fixing leadership gaps begins when leaders explore aspects of themselves they might rather ignore or keep hidden.

The difference between mediocre leaders and great ones isn’t that the great ones never falter. Great leaders willingly face hard truths about ineffective patterns in their behavior and make appropriate changes. All leaders have the capacity for greatness but many believe that they must hide their imperfections, instead of defeating them. This creates leadership gaps, which deepen with time. But leaders who take ownership of their gaps can turn weaknesses into strengths.

The seven leadership archetypes (strengths and weaknesses)

1. “The Rebel” and “the Imposter”

This are referring to those of the bold, capable and willing to upend the status quo in service of a greater good.

For example, consider the history of Girl Scouts of America …

In the mid-1970s, the Girl Scouts of America hired Frances Hesselbein to revive their declining organization. She knew her success hinged on “questioning everything” about how the Scouts helped girls achieve their goals. She pushed for greater racial and socioeconomic diversity, modernized the Scouts’ handbook, and revamped the organizational structure.

Successful rebels sweep out the old to let the new in with calmness and competency in order to unite people. Rebels’ confidence allows them to lead and gives others the bravery to follow. True confidence doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It results from rebels’ knowledge of their capabilities. And with such dependency, self-doubt can seriously undermine that confidence. Rebels who feel like frauds often second-guess their abilities. This fear of exposure creates a leadership gap and spawns the flip-side personality, the imposter.

Imposters (rebels in doubts) often doubt their right to lead, seek irrational perfection, become people pleasers, compare themselves with others and act in self-sabotaging ways. Closing this leadership gap requires leaders to focus on their own accomplishments to stop expecting perfection and to cultivate supporters who believe in them.

Great rebel leaders like Elon Musk and Gloria Steinem acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, work to improve their skills, accept their imperfections, adapt willingly to changing circumstances, believe in their causes, and act with confidence when things get tough.

Having been in such situation myself, looking at my previous achievement and ability helps in overcoming self-doubts. In truth, getting out of the slumps is not easy but with experience, you will be better.

“To have integrity, you have to know who you are, you have to know what you stand for and you have to know how to act in honor of your code.”

2. “The Explorer” and “the Exploiter”

Explorers solve problems and chart new paths by leveraging their intuition.

Safia Minney, the founder and CEO of People Tree, decided to create an ethical fashion company because she felt “fast fashion” harmed workers. Her resistance to being exploited drove her to find more ethical ways to manufacture clothing. Explorers like Minney create new methodologies and test the bounds of what’s possible.

Explorers’ driven by instincts and intuition rather than relying on analytical sense, they ask themselves what “feels right.”

Competent leaders who nurture their instincts can reap great rewards. Unfortunately, the same intuitive abilities that help explorers become good leaders can draw them into using “their intuition to manipulate others…to gain control.” Explorers who fall into this gap become exploiters. Although it might seem to be odd, when I think of the traits of explorer and exploiter, it remind me of the J.K. Rowling characters Gellert Grindelwald  and  Albus  Dumbledore. Both are great leaders and very adept at exploiting others to do their bidding.

Exploiters control others by using information as a weapon and making people fearful of upsetting them. Fixing this leadership gap requires leaders to turn their attention away from self-interest and toward the good of others. They must focus on cooperation more than hierarchy, stop exploiting others’ weaknesses and avoid double-talk.

“The moment you choose not to be a bystander is the moment you uncover the hero within.”

3. “The Truth Teller” and “the Deceiver”

The truth teller places a premium on honesty and applies radical openness in the service of other people.

For example … Truth tellers’ power stems from their commitment to honesty

When forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered anomalies in the brains of former professional football players, he didn’t allow the National Football League (NFL) to intimidate him into staying silent. Omalu believed that revealing the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in former pro football players was important. He was willing to suffer the negative consequences of going against the NFL and its backers. Truth tellers like Omalu help others by speaking up and acting with candor; they don’t let fear dissuade them.

However, a potential leadership gap could emerges, when truth tellers become suspicious that others aren’t being truthful. This worry can lead truth tellers to treat colleagues like deceivers or even to turn around and become deceivers to protect themselves. They can counter this behavior in themselves by avoiding self-deception, not letting their insecurities dictate their actions and accepting the fact that no one is perfect.

“Bridging the gap between being a knight who is loyal and the mercenary who is self-serving requires an understanding that leaders come from a place of dedication, devotion and duty.”

Deceivers (the opposites of truth tellers) use charm and manipulation to get what they want. They shift blame to others and exploit loopholes. Truth tellers can stop deceivers by calling them out.

Fore example …

Great truth tellers like Winston Churchill work on engendering honesty in themselves, their colleagues and their organizations. They commit to open communication and equality, pursue a high-minded collective mission, and cultivate a working environment where people know they can safely make mistakes and speak the truth.    

“There are leaders who will use their intuition and leaders who will use only their logic and analytical mind. The best kind of leader – the explorer uses both.”

4. “The Hero” and “the Bystander”

Heroes boldly take action for the greater good of their organization.

For example …

When the Ford Motor Company began losing ground to competitors, Henry Ford’s son Edsel knew the business model needed revamping. Though the pioneering Henry fought Edsel’s proposed changes for years, Edsel never gave up. After bravely persevering, he managed to convince his father to adjust to their consumers’ new wants. That’s how Edsel saved Ford Motors. Such heroes do what needs to be done, even when they face powerful opposition.

“Leading with confidence is not about always knowing the answers; it’s about knowing what you know and don’t know.”

The secret to heroes’ success is their courage and determination. They act freely on behalf of others without thinking about the cost to themselves. But fear can turn even the boldest hero into his or her antithesis, that is the bystander.

Bystanders wait for other people in a group to act rather than acting themselves. The larger the group is, the more likely a bystander is to be passive. That may explain why people fail to intervene in cases of workplace bullying. Rather than act, witnesses mostly stand by and passively watch the bad behavior occur.

“We think confidence is all we need to do well on the job and in our lives when, in reality, it is confidence combined with competence that makes leaders great.”

Changing from being a bystander to being a hero requires would-be leaders to set aside their fear and display courage in the face of obstacles. They must act and speak decisively, calmly and straightforwardly.

Heroes like retired US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling live by their convictions and encourage others to do the same, regardless of the possible consequences or censure. Heroes protect their employees and encourage them to voice their concerns, identify problems with projects and offer bold solutions.

“Great leaders have the ability to rethink who they are; they are open to learning, changing and growing as leaders.”

5. “The Inventor” and “the Destroyer”

Inventors prioritize innovation and won’t compromise their vision.

For example…

Sukiyabashi Jiro is regarded as “the best sushi restaurant in the world, owes its reputation to the excellence and originality of it master chef Jiro Ono, who constantly innovates and refines his dishes. He uses only the finest ingredients served at their culinary best. Inventors like Ono always look for ways to improve their products and processes.

They’re willing to explore new ideas, even if they don’t always work out. Integrity drives an innovator’s actions. Inventors know themselves, know what they believe and know how they want to act. They hold themselves accountable to keep their promises, tell the truth, treat others respectfully, build trust and adhere to their personal moral code.

However, if inventors give in to the temptation to compromise their integrity and embrace corruption, they stop creating and begin acting as destroyers.

Destroyers pursue their own wants at the expense of other people and, ultimately, undermine their organization. Bridging this leadership gap requires focusing on the positive not the negative, looking for the chance to praise others rather than blaming them, modeling the high-integrity behavior you wish others to display, and resisting the urge to compromise your values. Great inventors like Walt Disney and Lin-Manuel Miranda work to strengthen their personal character, identify and fight faults within themselves, and interact honestly and humbly with others.

6. “The Navigator” and “the Fixer”

Navigators masterfully direct people and organizations through complex circumstances toward the best solutions.

For example…

As special adviser to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Ester Fuchs helped greatly reduce how much trash people dump into Jamaica Bay near Queens, New York. Rather than tackle the issue on a surface level, she sought a solution for the root cause. She exemplifies the navigator’s ability to cut to the core of a problem and find the most effective – rather than the easiest – solutions. Navigators see the route they need to take and understand where to lead their teams. They trust themselves and earn the trust of other people. Trust born of confidence allows navigators to break down barriers.

However, navigators who arrogantly demand that others follow them can become fixers. Fixers don’t give nor receive trust. They try to micromanage situations because they believe they are the only ones who can solve problems. This is both ill-advised and short-sighted behaviors.

They focus too much on controlling others that they most likely to suffer burnout.

Overcoming this leadership gap depends on re-establishing boundaries. As navigators like Bloomberg and Sheryl Sandberg illustrate, leaders must resist the urge to rescue others and learn to trust them instead, but they also must pay attention to the ‘need help’ signs and intervene when necessary.

They must appreciate and respect their team members and nurture a culture of trust by encouraging communication, commitment, competence and good character. This would be a tremendous opportunity for both the leaders and followers to grow personally and as a team, and an opportunity to nurture trust.

7. “The Knight” and “the Mercenary”

Knights fight fiercely for just causes and look for ways to serve others.

For example …

When Kind snack food founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky discovered that out-of-date US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines classified his company’s snack bars as unhealthy to eat, he filed a petition calling for the FDA to update its guidelines to reflect modern knowledge about nutrition. The FDA agreed. Lubetzky’s determination to defend his company’s mission, employees and customers makes him a knight exemplar.

The give-and-take support of loyal managers and colleagues makes people more willing to innovate. It gives them an identity and purpose that build unity.

However, if knights’ pursuit of loyalty becomes self-serving, they can transform into mercenaries who act only for themselves. Mercenaries don’t want to help others succeed, don’t protect their team members and blame their mistakes on others.

Would-be knight leaders must focus on helping others. They should listen to other people and take an interest in them. Knights consider alternate points of view, show compassion, model good behavior and consider the ways their actions affect others. Great knight leaders choose their team members wisely; articulate a clear organizational mission; and engage with their colleagues personally, respectfully and honestly.

So, which of these 7 leader type are you?

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4 Reasons to read more books

“‘I want to read more’, that’s just stuff people says, just like ‘I would feed my kids organics”.

If you’re a fan of the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, you’ll know that
Bernadette once said, “‘I want to read more’, that’s just stuff people says, just like ‘I would feed my kids organics”.

Meaning everybody says they want to read more, and most of them actually do, however, the hard reality is that reading can be and most likely to be time-consuming. Especially with all the distraction of our modern age.

Great Stress Management Solution

According to study by Cognitive Psychologist Dr. David Lewis, reading doesn’t just calm you down better than exercise, music or even a cup of tea. Furthermore, just 6 minutes of reading can reduce your reduce your stress levels by a third, which takes pressure off your heart and circulatory system and can prolong your life.

Reading can prevent alzheimer’s

Like any other muscles in our body, reading is just like an exercise. For a really awesome mind workout, try reading something which is outside of your field of knowledge.

For example, today I’d tried to read on how to derive Darcy’s Law. It’s a 3 page worth of calculations, and at first it make no sense what so ever. And honestly, still not making sense to me. But I’m going to try again tomorrow. Its a hard cold truth that I’m not great at every I do (yet), it also means I can do better and there’s always room for improvement.

So can you. Personal growth is a daily struggle, and at times, I believe what makes life worth living.

Boosting Happiness and Overall Life satisfaction

According to studies, books provide more complex images of other people’s lives, and therefore more angles to view your own life. Among the awesome books that change my views on live would be The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (and its subsequent books) by Robin Sharma, The Richest Man in Babylon, The Way to Wealth, The Faults in Our Stars by John Green, and also The Grit by Angela Duckworth. Maybe there’s a few more.

Reading Books (Especially Fiction) Increases Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

I’ve have been reading a lots of non-fiction, so this point really bothering me. I think I might need to buy some new awesome novels. Maybe finally I would buy the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Here’s what we need to understand, one of the great secrets of adult life is that the most important things you’ll ever learn which don’t come from the office or classroom. Now, non-fiction books will do wonders in enhancing our emotional intelligence, but they can help you live longer, and increase your empathy.

In summary, reading will have wonderful impact in our life, which both improve our emotional intelligence and feel-good feeling.

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8 Ways to read more books!

Based on HBR article by Neil Pasricha.

This article is about fitting in more reading in our life based on adaptable behavioral change. I’ve only able to ready 37 books in 2018, hope to do 3 books a week in 2019, and I’m hopeful that Neil Pasricha advice could assist me to achieve my goals.

Here’s Pasrischa’s advice.

Centralize reading in your home

Avoid distraction such as TV, mobile phone or any other gadgets by physical distraction (putting them away) rather than just switching it off.

Make a public commitment

Robert Cialdini in his book shares a psychology study which shows that once people place their bets at a racetrack, they are much more confident about their horses’s chances than they were just laying down the bet. He goes on to explain how commitment is one of the big six weapons of social influence. 

So, making a public statement should be helpful, for example, I do share my reading list and notes in my blog. And I really tried my best to actually make progress in my reading, although it could be hard at times to actually find the time and space to do so.

Find a few trusted, curated list

According to the article, the publishing industry puts out more than 50,000 books a year. Therefore, it’s hard to find one worth our time and effort. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve haven’t read any non-fictions lately.

If you wanted to see my recommended list, feel free to take a look at my reading list and book review, might actually be helpful.

Parischa recommend Bill Gates’s reading list; Derek Sivers’s reading list; and Tim Ferriss’s list, where he has collected the recommendations of many of his podcast guests. On the other hand, I would prefer World Economics Forum Bookclub for new books recommendation, as well as Goodreads book ratings.

Change your mindset about quitting

It’s one thing to quit reading a book and feel bad about it. It’s another to quit a book and feel proud of it. All you have to do is change your mindset. Just say, “Phew! Now I’ve finally ditched this brick to make room for that gem I’m about to read next.” And according to Parischa, he would’ve quit 3-4 books for every book he’d read to the end.

Well, in my case, I rarely quit before I’ve finished. The only book I’ve quit and didn’t completed the whole book was “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I was miserable reading the book, but the book was quite highly rated, maybe it just me.

Take a “news fast” and channel your reading dollars

Meaning, cut down on your news paper and buy new books.

I usually look around the internet for free new books. At times these free books could be awesome. If you download Library Extension for your browser, you can see what books and e-books are available for free right around the corner.

Triple your churn rate

Add more books to your library / book shelf and actually keep them moving. And if you’ve quit those whom just doesn’t suit you, those rate would increase significantly.

However, there’s some book which so good that I’ve read it more than 3 times. So, in the end, I just record the main lessons learnt on my blog and re-read them in case I in need of some refresher.

Read physical books

Blue screen could affect our sleeps. Therefore, for better night sleep, switch off your mobiles and get a physical books. It will help you sleep better and fall asleep faster.

Reapply the 10,000 steps rule

Just like a common goal of 10,000 steps daily, a small consistent effort counts. Read every chance you’ve got, and it would amount to a lot of reading. Its about consistency lady and gentlemen.

well that’s it.

Happy reading.

Capitalism’s Toxic Assumption (Book Review)

My book review on Eve Poole’s Capitalism’s Toxic Assumption, redefining next generation economics.

Classical assumptions on competition, pricing mechanism, and other elements of capitalism find little support among modern theories of market economics. For example, game theory emphasized the importance of cooperation and undermines the old theory that competition is always the best business strategy.

The Shaky Foundations of Classical Economic Theory

Scottish philosopher Adam Smith’s influential Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, written from 1766 to 1776, serves as the literary foundation of capitalism.

Some regarded it as the bible of modern capitalism. But today, the capitalist orthodox in The Wealth of Nations could turn out to be a deterrent to the advances of market economies. Since the book’s publication, seven “toxic assumptions” about capitalism have gained a strong foothold and now threaten the economic system’s evolution.

The 7 toxic assumptions are as follows

  1. The Assumption of Competition
  2. The Assumption of the Invisible Hand
  3. The Assumption of Utility
  4. The Assumption of Agency Theory
  5. The Assumption That Market Pricing Is Just
  6. The Assumption of the Supremacy of the Shareholder
  7. The Assumption of the Legitimacy of the Limited Liability Model

Capitalist’s 7 toxic assumptions invite challenge. Efforts are under way to foster more worthy alternatives, but, to date, such efforts have had limited impact on mainstream thinking.

Obstacles to greater business cooperation include the need for complex changes in the regulation of competition. The dominance of men in business leadership also preserves the current capitalist model. And that could change over time as more women ascend to the top of management jobs.

Meanwhile, alternative business models could helps to spur progress. Employee ownership, for example, could prevent limited liabilities companies from adopting the bad habits associated with shareholder ownership. These changes must be implemented to fix the US economy.

Main reading points from the book

  • 7 toxic assumptions about capitalism makes the reality of market economies much more dubious.
  • First, competition theory, which holds that competing rather than cooperating yields the best results, is erroneous. Game theory in turn has dispelled this myth.
  • Biology drives men to compete and not to cooperate when they perceive threats.
  • Second, contrary to Adam Smith’s concept of the invisible hand, self-interested people will not necessarily produce the best overall outcomes.
  • Third, the utility theory which says that life’s purpose is personal contentment or utility which overemphasizes selfish pragmatism and ignores people often irrational motives.
  • Fourth, agency theory, wrongly holds that principal’s and agent’s interests don’t align.
  • Fifth, market pricing erroneously states that supply and demand are independent.
  • Sixth, modern trading technology makes shareholder supremacy out of date.
  • Its limited shareholder liability has attracted investors to corporations since the mid-1800s. Since then, firms have cut costs and increased dividends
  • And seventh, limited liability hopes to protect shareholders from risk. However, public policy should encourage alternatives to the limited liability structure.

The Motivation Spectrum

If people are already motivated, the question now is, how motivated are they? The answer lies in the 6 “motivational outlooks” on the spectrum of motivation.

These outlook do not form a continuum. At one moment, we might operate in one particular motivational outlook and later, we may operate with an entirely diferent one.

To illustrate how motivaional outlook work, consier them in light of a routine meeting where 6 different employees are each operating individually based on a different mode of motivation:

  1. Disinterest – This one hated the meeting and considered it as as waste of time.
  2. External – This one leverage the meeting to show off his power and status within the organization.
  3. Imposed – This one is forced by his or her superiors to attend the meeting. Their superiors might be angry if they missed the meeting.
  4. Aligned – This one loved attending meeting, and felt they might gain valueable knowledge from that meeting.
  5. Integrated – this one enjoyed the meeting because her life has a noble purpose, and the meeting focused on that purpose.
  6. Inherent – This one is gregarious, loves being around people and attends all meetings.

“Setting measurable goals and outcomes is important. Having a defined finish line in front of you can be positively compelling.”

The first 3 motivational outlook are in the suboptimal motivation category and they represent the low-quality motivation or motivational junk food.

People operating based on suboptimal motivational modes often say things like,

“I have to”

“I must”

“I should”

“I’m requied to”

“It’s necessary”

“Because it’s my duty.”

“Everyday, your employees’ appraisal of their workplace leaves them with or without a positive sense of well-being. Their well-being determines their intentions, and intentions are the greatest predictors of behavior.”

The remaining 3 motivational outlook are the optimal ones. They show the kind of motivation which we want, for ourselves, our employees and the people we care about.

They are motivational “health food”.

Outlook based on alignment, integration and inherent motivation generate high-quality energy, vitality and positive well-being which leads to a sustainable results. People with optimal motivation outlook often say,

“I get to”

“I have decided to”

“I am lucky to”

“I elect to”

“External Motivators”

Organization at times would turn to external motivators to influence their employees. These motivators include money, incentives or a bigger office or even bigger title which are tangable, or approval, status, shame or fear, which are intangible. These forces work directly against the important psychological requirements employees have for autonomy, relatedness and competence.

External motivators actually undermine motivation.

“The quality of our beliefs determines the quality of our leadership values. Our leadership values ultimately determine how we lead and the quality of the workplace we create.”

External motivators can take control over our employees, driving and compelling them to act in a certain way, thus robbing them of autonomy. And eventually, the employees will come to resent the loss of control.

A self-defeating inherent message accompanies any external motivator:

“If you do as I say, then you will be rewarded”

This ham-handed message can gain only temporary, “conditional support” from the employees.

“Not all beliefs are values, but all values are beliefs”

Optimal Motivation

For most organizations, motivation is what their employees can do for them. But this reverses crucial priorities.

The magic of motivation kick into overdrive when managers address what the can do for their employees.

Answering that question fulfills one o the basic rules of motivation:

“When we focus on what we want for people, we are more likely to get the results we want from people.”

So, instead of trying to drive or control employees with carrots and sticks, or pigeon pellets, help promote thriving employees by meeting their crucial autonomy, relatedness an competence psychological needs, which are their “basic desire to thrive.”

Organizations need to move beyond a strict focus on corporate priorities which usually centered around “results, performance and productivity.”

“Great leadership takes great practice. When it comes to motivation, leadership practice includes being a role model.”

And when companies focuses on autonomy, relatedness and competence, they and their people will stand to benefit. Organizations that focus on ARC develop sel-governing workforce who believe in accountability. Such companies promote strong personal relationships, which motivate examplary “citizenship behaviors” among employees. This emphasis on competence and professional development helps create and sustain learning organizations.

Therefore, organization should help their employees to understand why they are motivated. Adopting a motivational strateg based on ARC values which ensures that our employees have an optimal motivational outlook. And when leaders model this attitude, it can become a defining characteristic of our organization, a win-win-win for employees, manager and the company.

And hence, a much holistic working culture.