According to ExecuNet, a “professional network for executives,” CEOS aren’t very good at knowing what motivates their “C-level” direct reports. As a result, these executives either leave or they slowly become under-utilized. At worst, they become poison.
Apparently, most C-level folks only hear what they want to hear, assume most people are motivated by money and greed and think their colleagues have more influence on policy than they do personally, according the survey of 2,463 executives, as reported in Monday’s WSJ.
As it turns out, the executives surveyed said they are most motivated by having input into decisions, being heard by the CEO, and having control of their work-life mix. Funny, though, that they don’t think their peers or their employees are motivated by the same interests.
We’re wired to default to the negative – to be on watch for people getting more than we do, for danger, for thinking people are hiding things from us. Evolutionarily speaking, that has kept us alive for thousands of years.
That’s why creating a better workplace culture has to be a deliberate act. We have to be aware of concepts such as “loss-aversion,” “reptilian response” and our natural inclination to seek out information that re-enforces our already established positions.
If we recognize it, we can do something about it.