Money isn’t Your Team’s Motivation

“Work and play well with others – the world is made up of teams.”
– Ken May, CEO of Topgolf

This is what it boils down towho do you have on your team? Every other question seems to come after this one.

Ken May, CEO of Topgolf, recently spoke at an event I attended. He gave a little history, some leadership counsel, and added some good career advice.

I liked the themes he emphasized: the importance of servant leadership (the leader works for the people he/she serves); learn all you can (he went back to school to earn his MBA, and he said he never would have made it out of middle management if he had not gone back to school); and admit your mistakes.

It was really good counsel and advice.

But, back to the centrality of teams. May talked about how to motivate the people on his team(s). He said that there were really only three things that motivate people:

  1. Recognition
  2. Responsibility
  3. Money

Recognize every person for every job done well. Recognize them in big ways after a big win, or after an extra effortespecially in a moment of crisis (an all-hands-on-deck moment).

Also, give people responsibility. When it is a person’s job to be responsible for a specific area/task, that can be very motivating.

Get these two right, and your team members won’t be motivated solely by money. In fact, May believes that money is the poorest motivator of the three.

And he was especially high on recognition. He told good stories about how we each cherish “recognition” at any levelbeginning in our earliest years.

So, who can you recognize today on your team? And how will you do it?

Randy Mayeux


Contributed by:
Randy Mayeux
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis

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