Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mom, Entrepreneur Podcasts, and Motivation

I was on the phone with my mother last night and, in passing, she mentioned that she is keeping up with how I am doing by reading my blog. For a moment I pictured my proud mother in a Relief Society meeting holding an open laptop with my blog on the screen, the same way most mothers hold open their wallets with pictures of their children and grandchildren. Then I thought it would be a good idea to to try and write something altruistic that a mother could be proud of.

So here goes. This one's for you, Mom.

I just learned about a great new website called businessjive.com.

The site is a compilation of podcasts featuring successful Utah entrepreneurs like Alan Hall of Marketstar and Will Marre, co-founder of the Covey Leadership Center. Tomorrow, the site will broadcast an interview with Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

There are a million ways to motivate people. I think most of us believe that nothing motivates people the way good people do. Every time I hear the story of a hero who has overcome tremendous odds to become very good and very influential, it motivates me more than any incentive or reward ever could.

I read about a great example of inspiring motivation at a (speaking of good people) Corporate Alliance function the other day. The following text is taken from a full-page ad published on Boss's Day 1994. The ad was paid for by the employees of Southwest Airlines and it was addresses to Herb Keller, the company's CEO:

Thanks Herb
For remembering everyone of our names.
For supporting the Ronald McDonald House.
For helping load baggage on Thanksgiving.
For giving everyone a kiss (and we mean everyone).
For listening.
For running the only profitable major airline.
For singing at our holiday party.
For singing only once a year.
For letting us wear shorts and sneakers to work.
For golfing at the LUV Classic with only one club.
For out-talking Sam Donaldson.
For riding your Harley Davidson in to Southwest Headquarters.
For being a friend, not just a boss.
Happy Boss's Day from Each One of Your 16,000 employees!

Only one "thank you line" out of thirteen has anything to do with the success of the company, and not one has anything to do with pay.

Don't get me wrong -- If a company can't pay people, it certainly cannot motivate them. We are all in business to make money. To forget that fact is to commit organizational suicide.

But, when it all boils down, people are motivated best by good people. To forget that is morally and interpersonally destructive and will keep your organization from peak performance.

(How was that, Mom?)

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