The bonus of motivation
I was reading the latest issue of Business Week last night and read the following from Joe Torre, the Dodgers manager, about his decision to leave the Yankees. I think we often wonder the real reasons why people do things and in the sporting and celebrity world, the assumption is often money. However, this case, it was quite what one might think.
“I was offered a very nice contract from the Yankees [after the 2007] season but it was a reduction in pay. I could get the money back if we won this, that, and the other thing. I was insulted that they thought I needed to be motivated financially to go out there and do a better job. That’s when I walked away”.
This kind of motivation, dangling a financial carrot, does not seem to work for him. And I don’t see how it would for anyone, or at least not for long. Oh wait, this is exactly the kind of carrot that is dangled in front of CEO’s. If the stock price rises, you get a bigger bonus. Hmm, at what cost do some CEO’s make unethical decisions based on an individual decision to increase their bottom line without regard for everyone else? How many pensions of an ordinary person no different from myself, have been wiped out by greedy executives?
Shouldn’t the motivation be more about effectiveness? Bringing value to the world? Creating quality product or providing a valuable service? This is based on people. Not a person at the top (or persons), but people. There is a reason there are 150,000 employees at Bank of America or Lockheed Martin (an old estimate I’m sure). I am only one but I wish a bonus to be reflective of the value I have brought, not how I manipulated the system so that we looked good. I want my organization to actually be good. I wonder, can some of the executives and those big dogs on Wall Street truly say they have been good? I am sure there are many taxpayers who would disagree.