Motivation and Leadership Essay

1592 Words 7 Pages
Motivation and Leadership are intrinsically linked in the fact that one allows an easement in the process of the other. Without the ability to use the mutual relationship of leadership to influence the motivators of followers, leaders stagnate and are limited by their own inability to accomplish all that must be for real change to occur. In less Rostonian terms (that is, based on Rost (1993)), without a motivated group of followers leaders are stranded and not achieving to a level of excellence. This paper will discuss some areas of importance for motivation in leadership as well as an application to leadership theory and a discussion on personal motivators. Motivation is the reason or purpose behind action, or what causes one to act in …show more content…
Osland, et al. (2007) provide a good introduction to three basic motivational content theories. The first theory is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that proposes man is motivated by a lack in the one or more of the five common needs. The needs that Maslow identifies are physiological, safety, social belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. Maslow believed that one fills needs from the most basic (like food and water) to the highest level (self-actualization). Maslow’s ideas are easy to relate to and attempt to provide an all-inclusive approach to the concept of motivation; however, there is little evidence to support the idea that man cannot have self-actualization without the other more basic needs first satisfied. The second content theory Osland, et al. discuss is McCelland’s learned needs. McCelland states that man is motivated by one of three things: achievement, power, or affiliation – or a mixture of the three. Each of these needs can possess a negative or positive connotation or implementation, but it is argued that people motivated by affiliation make better leaders. The third theory presented is McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. McGregor asserts that Theory X people or employees are inherently lazy and must be controlled and forced to act, whereas Theory Y people are self-controlled, motivated, and ambitious. Steers, et al. (1996) identify an additional theory of motivation, which builds on Maslow’s