Part 1






It turns out motivation is a skill, similar to reading or writing and can be learned and honed. We must trick ourselves into practicing this skill. To do thus, you must feel like you are in control.

“The need for control is a biological imperative” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2010.

“Animals and humans demonstrate a preference for choice over non-choice, even when that choice confers no additional reward” Psychological Science 2011.

US Marine Corp. Studies found the most successful marines where those with a strong Internal Locus of Control [ICT]. People tend to praise or blame themselves for success or failure, rather than assigning responsibility for things outside their influence.

“ICT is linked to academic success, higher self-motivation and social maturity, lower incidences of stress and depression, and longer life span.” Problems and Perspectives in Management 2012.

Self-motivation is a choice we make because it is part of something bigger and more emotionally rewarding than the immediate task that needs doing.



Google conducted research on what makes teams work great; code named Aristotle. They focused on “group norms” and published their findings in the Sociology of Sports Journal.

Norms were defined as traditions, behavioral standards, and unwritten rules that govern how a group functions. I.E. When a team comes to an unspoken consensus that avoiding disagreement is more valuable than debate, that is a norm asserting itself. If a team develops a culture that encourages differences of opinion and spurns groupthink, that is another norm holding sway.

When asked, employees at Google talked extensively about how teams  “felt.” The data showed the researchers had to focus on the how of teams and not the who. Superstars individually does not necessarily make a great team.


Some leaders establish a culture of openness that facilitates discussion error, which is likely to be an important influence on detected error rates. – The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 1996


Google found allowing people to fail without repercussions, respecting divergent opinions, feeling free to question others choices, but allows trusting that people are not trying to undermine you – make a psychologically safe at work.


Reading the mind in the eyes test is a good way to measure safe psychological teams as they are forming or planning to form.


Two behaviors of good teams were noted:

  1. All team members speak in roughly to same proportion
  2. They have a high average of social sensitivity


Great teams are the sum is greater than its parts.


The secret is to give everyone a voice and finding people sensitive enough to listen to each other.


The Five Key Norms

Need to believe that their work is important

Need to feel their work is personally meaningful.

Need clear goals and defined roles.

Members need to know they can depend on one3 another.

Teams need a psychological safety.


To Create, the Norms Leaders Need to Model

Not interrupt, demonstrate listening by summarizing what people say, admit what they do not know, never end the meeting until all members have spoken at least once, encourage people who are upset to express their frustrations, encourage teammates to respond in nonjudgmental ways, call out inter-group conflicts and resolve them through open discussion.



To Be Continued………