Motivating a Type A Superstar to Change – Part 2

Contrary to the old saw, you can teach an old dog a new trick. It just requires a tantalizing treat that captures and holds the dog’s attention… like freeze dried liver morsels or a hedgehog squeaky toy.

Same thing goes for motivating a Type A superstar to do something new or different.

You must tie the change to something the individual finds very enticing. Something so titillating that they are willing to break out of their success comfort zone.

Here’s where so many bosses go wrong. They fall into the trap of…

1. Explaining how the change is good for the company and stop there. (“So it’s good for the company but it sucks for my pocketbook. I’m supposed to want that???”)

2. Using veiled threats of unpleasant consequences if the change doesn’t occur. (“Yeah, right. You’re really going to fire someone who your most important customers trust. We both know you’re not that stupid.”)

3. Pulling out stale, generic WIIFM motivators that simply don’t pack enough punch to interest a Type A superstar in the long-run. (“Let me get this straight. In exchange for keeping my job during the lay-offs, you expect me to take on the additional work of the two people who were let go and that’s a sign of how much the company values my contribution? I’m already working 60 hours a week. I don’t need any more appreciation if that’s what it entails.”)

To motivate a Type A superstar to change his personal recipe for success, you’ve got to make the consequences positive, personal and extremely meaningful. That means as the boss you’ve got to know what ignites and excites each of your Type A superstars before you ask them to change.

Is it freeze dried liver, a squeaky hedgehog or some other tasty treat?