Motivating People – John Adair

” Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. ”  Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In order to attain goals and achieve success in any organization, leaders must know how to motivate their teams and individual workers.  Motivation is key in the pursuit of good results and it comes to life when leaders inspire, challenge and encourage those they lead, on a daily basis.  John Adair said a lot about motivation and his theories are compatible with those of motivational theorists like Maslow and Herzberg.

The 50:50 Rule: In his book Effective Motivation Adair asserts: ” 50% of motivation comes from within a person, and 50% from his or her environment, especially from the leadership encountered therein.”  This is a very telling and useful observation. Good leaders are self-motivated and must know how to get the best out of their followers.  John Adair came up with 8 rules for leaders, in motivating people.  Here they are:

1.  Be motivated yourself.

2.  Select people who are motivated.

3.  Treat each person as an individual.

4.  Set realistic but challenging targets.

5.  Remember that progress motivates.

6.  Create a motivating environment.

7.  Provide fair rewards.

8.  Give recognition for success.

Leaders, in any field, who consistently apply Adair’s 8 rules for motivating people, will find it easier to achieve their organizational goals and earn the trust, respect and support of those whom they lead.  Interestingly, Adair also expressed the view elsewhere that 50% of team building success comes from the team and 50% from the leader.



2 thoughts on “Motivating People – John Adair

  1. I’ve got another couple of weeks as a long-term sub. It has been great, even with a handful of challenging / unmotivated students. This post is a very helpful reminder for how I need to approach the situation!


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