Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The following comes from Zig Ziglar's email newsletter:

The word “motivation” is one that is often confused with “manipulation.” Motivation occurs when you persuade someone to take an action in their own best interests. Things like people preparing their homework, accepting responsibility for their performance and finishing their education, are the result of motivation. Manipulation is persuading someone to take an action which is primarily for your benefit. Things like selling an inferior product at an inflated price or working people overtime with no extra pay are examples of manipulation. Manipulation self-destructs the individual doing the manipulating. Word gets out on manipulators and people grow less and less likely to respond in a positive manner to their manipulation. Productivity declines. Leadership occurs when you persuade a person to take an action which is in your mutual best interests. Eisenhower said that leadership was the ability to persuade someone to do what you wanted them to do because they wanted to do it. When that happens, performance improves, productivity increases, and both parties win.

Comparing motivation to manipulation is like comparing kindness to deceit. The difference is the intent of the person. Motivation will cause people to act out of free choice and desire, while manipulation often results in forced compliance. One is ethical and long-lasting; the other is unethical and temporary.

Carlisle said, “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats the little man.” The value you place on people determines whether you are a motivator or a manipulator of people. Motivation is moving together for mutual advantage. Manipulation is persuading or even subtly coercing someone to do something so that you win and they lose. With the motivator everybody wins; with the manipulator, only the manipulator wins. And to that I might add that the victory is temporary and the price is prohibitive. Leaders and motivators are winners, manipulators are losers who produce resentment and discord. Think about it. Become a motivator, not a manipulator, and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!