“That Motivation Thing” – Getting The Best Out Of People… (Podcast)


Welcome to our podcast that is another episode from our audio archives…

“That Motivation Thing: Getting The Best Out Of People…” is the rebroadcast of an episode of “Dreamers, Winners—And Making A Difference…” This was an online radio show I hosted between November 2014 and February 2015.

Steve Burrows CBE

My guest on that January 2015 episode was Steve Burrows CBE, a world-renowned civil and structural engineer. Steve is an executive Vice President of an engineering firm that employs over 32,000 souls around the world. I thought his views of motivation might be quite fascinating—which they were…

Why motivation?

So, what does motivation have to do with bringing our ideas to life? In a word: “Everything”

To bring our ideas to life, we not only have to motivate ourselves, we also have to motivate those round us whose help we might need…

The first question we need to pose for both ourselves and for those around us is where we place the bar. I believe we need to set it high, but, as unlikely as this may seem, I could be wrong…

aim too low

Is micro-management the solution—or the obstacle?

Daniel Pink’s “Drive” is a book about motivation… He focuses on the danger of management getting in the way by exerting too much control. He points out how this can stifle innovation—the lifeblood of any business. In this podcast, Steve and I discuss Daniel Pink’s ideas and compare them to our own experiences.

Daniel Pink acknowledges the need to set goals. Those we are seeking to motivate need to be told what they must accomplish in reaching these goals, but he then asserts that we then must give them room to allow their creativity to flourish in reaching their goals.

He therefore warns that we should therefore be careful about not telling them how to do it for fear of stifling their creative juices.


Daniel Pink also writes about the remarkable results from giving people their own time to work on their own projects with whoever they like. Steve and I compare our own experiences in this regard.

Is the key to motivation “happiness”?

In our conversation, Steve talks about his belief that the key to motivating people is to provide them with a happy environment.


He argues that happy people are more easily motivated and are more innovative…


an opportunity

Motivation and loving what you do…

Can you motivate anyone who doesn’t love what he does—and who doesn’t believe that he or she isn’t fulfilling his or her potential?

This seems unlikely…



A final thought…

What about those folks who claim that, unless you come to the table motivated, you can’t later be motivated? Could they be right? 

And, if they are right, are the motivation theories of Daniel Pink and others just mumbo jumbo?