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Performance Motivators©

My career in sales transitioned to managing and training salespeople, understanding how and why humans make the decisions they make, and how emotions motivate people.  


Marketing begins with understanding how people feel, how they want to feel and how to help them see how they can feel by purchasing a certain product or service.  

It’s all about emotions. 

Human emotions drive actions, purchases, activities, or lack of activity with everything we do. It becomes the job of the salesperson to understand their buyer, their emotions and what is driving their specific decisions. Great sales people understand that and seek to solve for that.  

I began to apply this concept in many ways and began putting it to use as Leader. I noticed some patterns that emerged. As I learned more, I applied it in ways that helped me to connect better with the people around me.  

Confident But Not Crazy in Business 

When I started my homebuilding company in the recession, I needed to hire people. And I wanted the best. 

Afterall, people who are the best weren’t worried about losing their jobs in the recession. The talent I sought was not at high risk for job loss.  

But I couldn’t pay top dollar like the larger companies and I was too small to offer any health insurance or benefits packages. I was a start-up, in the middle of the recession, and had debated:  what can I offer top talent that the others can’t?  

I had a great reputation in the industry and a loyal following of people. But it wasn’t going to be enough for someone to jump ship from their high paying corporate job with a great benefits package to come take a risk with me.  

I’m confident – but I’m not crazy. 

Work/Life Balance, Once a Relatively New Concept…

I knew layoffs were happening around these talented people. While they may have had job security and their companies were still functioning, those still working were taking on the job of 1-2 other employees. 

They were:

  • stretched far more than they had been before
  • burning out and their work lives were far from happy
  • my target…

Work/Life Balance was a relatively new concept back then – so I reached out to people I knew would be motivated by what I could offer in this new concept. It motivated them to make a change.  

That was the beginning of my two main concepts: 

  • Operating in Emotional Leadership 
  • Culture and Leadership Focus 

It’s Never About the Money

IT'S NEVER ABOUT THE MONEY | PERFORMANCE MOTIVATORSI created this concept, “It’s Never About the Money.” It’s based on scientific research and studies whereby humans have an emotional desire or emotion that drives actions to satisfy that emotional drive or desire.  

What does this mean in simple terms? 

If all things were equal, the reason someone chooses to work at a particular place is to satisfy something that is far more important to them. It’s their non-negotiable deal breaker.  

Without that need being satisfied, it’s a hard no 

A person chooses to work at one company and not the other and STAY THERE for their emotionally driven reason – or what I call their Performance Motivator©. 

As long as that need is satisfied, they are unlikely to seek a different opportunity – even if pursued by competition. If they do leave, they may come back if that need is not satisfied elsewhere. (I’ll relate later about Boomerang Bob). 

I grouped these people into six different categories of what motivates them. These Performance Motivators© are their deal breakers. (You’ll get to “meet” the Motivators below 😊) 

We all have Performance Motivators©

We usually have a little bit of each of these in each of us. But at any given time, there’s ONE that is the #1 driver, the deal breaker. 

Using these concepts, I noticed a big shift.  

Employees told me I was the best manager they ever had. At an industry awards show where our entire company attended, we were up for many awards that evening, one of which was a Leadership Award. 

I was half listening until I heard my name announced…I was nominated by my team and won the industry leadership award. 

I’m sharing this with you because I realized the reason I stood out was because most people never had a leader or boss who cared or appreciated and valued them, or even tried to understand them. 

I also want others to have the same experience too. I was kind, respectful and compassionate with my team and applied the principles of what I was learning. 

And you can do this, too. 

Performance Motivators© Are Not Personality Tests 

Don’t be confused with Personality tests or strengths finders or anything related. Although they do have their place and can provide insight, they complement this concept but are not the same.  

Personality tests reveal: 

  • how you learned to survive and succeed due to how you were raised, socialized and other factors that have determined your style.  
  • your strengths and zones of genius, your superpowers are also powerful in this process.  

Performance Motivators© are based on the current season of your life. What you are doing right now, your personal circumstances, goals, choices, at a core emotional level.  

As the seasons of your life shift and evolve, so can your Performance Motivators©. You experience new emotions, needs, desires, and drives to satisfy.  

Enter: Emotional Leadership 

When you are managing people, it will add greater value to your Leadership abilities when you can determine:  

  • The Performance Motivators© of new hires 
  • Your Team Members personal Performance Motivators©
  • How their Performance Motivators© change over time 

Early on in your team member’s careers, they may fall into one Performance Motivator category and six years later may be motivated very differently. If you aren’t paying attention, you may begin to lose your greatest people.  

Here is an opportunity for you to maintain connection with them to create their loyalty for the long term. This is a simple concept, yet a powerful one.  

When you understand what is motivating the individuals on your team, you’ll know how to communicate with them in ways that speak to them most. The flip side? When you aren’t speaking their language, it will be easy to lose them.  

Meet the 6 Performance Motivators©


#1- Tribe Thinkers

Motivated by creating an extended family, a culture of their social lives being a huge part of their work life and vice versa. Work life and personal life are one in the same for them. 

#2- Success Seekers –

Focused on climbing, learning, growing, and getting to the next level. They want to be seen, heard, and recognized as being valuable and are hungry for rewards they can earn to get where they want to go.  

#3- Change Champions-

Sign up for the cause that you stand for as a company. What do you believe in? What’s the mission? Are there ways they can be a part of that purpose? If you have a Change Champion, you have a walking billboard in life, on social media and everywhere possible promoting it all.  

#4- Impact Players

Thrive on being recognized as a necessary and integral aspect of the growth and strategy of the business. Without being seen and held in that regard, they will move on to where they are seen.  

#5- Boundary Balancers-

Have great talents to offer AND must be able to do it on their terms. They have strong lines and responsibilities that must be accommodated. If they are not, it becomes nearly impossible for them to make it work. They are valuable assets – if you can work with their needs, you can gain a strong employee for your team.  

#6- Structure Wiz-

Thrive on being a contributor and are proud of what they bring to the company. But they need structure and for the lines not to be blurred- they don’t appreciate after hours calls or demands. They are satisfied where they are, avoid risks and don’t want a lot of change. While they seek reliable work and minimal change above all else, recognition is not necessary and may not even be welcomed.  

In great leadership, we cannot make assumptions. 

Most of us manage and communicate with others, assuming others think the way we think. That’s a natural and normal way of operating and why we commonly attract others who are most like us.  

But this only gives us a partial picture. 

For example: if you fall into one of the 6 Performance Motivators© and you are most comfortable managing others who are motivated the same way you are, theoretically that’s just 17% of the people out there in the job market.  

This means that you may not be attracting, connecting, or speaking the language of approximately 83% of others out there in the market. How much talent and value are you leaving on the table by not considering opening to this concept? 

Lead By Utilizing Performance Motivators© 

In future podcasts, I’ll expand on each of the Performance Motivators© with examples of some of the people I’ve enjoyed in my career – including Boomerang Bob as I mentioned earlier.  

When you know the right answer to each person’s Performance Motivator©: 

  • your ability to lead people will shift dramatically.  
  • you’ll see them for who they are 
  • you will speak and motivate them in ways that inspire and motivate them to be a part of your team, ensure you and the company are successful and jump through hoops to accomplish whatever you place in front of them.  

This is powerful for you, for the company and for them.  

So, when I tell you “It’s Never About the Money”, it’s true. There will be little reason for someone to seek opportunities elsewhere if they are pursued. Even if they do, they will be doing it from a place of satisfaction and their needs being satisfied.  

This is not to say that you don’t need to pay people well. 

But what you offer is ALSO extremely valuable when you operate in Emotional Leadership and there is a value assigned to their experience working for you.  

A Simple Leadership Concept that Actually Works! 

This is not a complicated concept. It’s simpler than anything else you will do in Leadership.  

At the end of the day, I suggest that even if you can’t offer the same comp package as another company, what you offer in your Leadership can make up for that. I am proof of that. 

When someone wants to leave, tossing more money their way is only a band-aid.  

When you understand these concepts fully, you’ll see that more money is a temporary fix. It doesn’t solve for someone who isn’t realizing what is most important to them. 

Fixing the real problem will cost you far less in the end in both dollars and turnover – and create a far happier employee in the long run. 

What Are Your Performance Motivators©? 

Visit our website and take our Performance Motivator© quiz today! 

It’s only a few questions and won’t take you long. You’ll get the results emailed to you and gain a full understanding of all the details. 

Then, forward it to your Team members to take the quiz too. First, I want you to try and guess whether you know each person’s PM. Then have a conversation with them about the results. Were you on the right track? 

Let me know in the comments what you find! 

This is what we work on, learn and practice in our community every day. Join us to learn more about leading with Emotional Leadership, using the Performance Motivator© concepts to maximize your leadership style.  

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