After reading many other books on both mind function and employee motivation, it is great to read George Langelett’s HOW DO I KEEP MY EMPLOYEES MOTIVATED? This book rings true. In it, Langelette answers the call of the WALL STREET JOURNAL article in 2009 that questioned how business schools have failed businesses. Langelett began by seeking a way to impart ethics into the college courses he teaches, then moved into mental development studies, and finally produced the answer: empathy.
From reading this, it sounds like Langelett and I have a similar fascination with Daniel Pink’s DRIVE. If you haven’t already watched Pink’s TED Talk on YouTube, do so now. The old “stick and carrot” approach is not producing the results we are looking for. I will take this a step forward and say that previous methodology produces near-criminal intent due to folks trying to obtain the proverbial carrot. Langelett shows that if we take a step back, focus on the intrinsic needs of the employee, our business will then improve. (Charles Duhigg’s THE POWER OF HABIT has a section devoted to the habits of corporations and how focus on an unexpected measurable will produce pleasing investor results.)
My favorite part of this book is Langelett’s included worksheets for managers to build empathy with their team. Keep in mind—this is NOT just for managers. As we progress into more lateral organizations, these new branded methodologies will prove invaluable to all players involved. Langelett even produces a Bible verse toward the end of the book to echo this sentiment: all we need is love. (Brené Brown has some similar pages in her book DARING GREATLY that include phrases that build empathy within a team—how we can work together through exposure of our vulnerabilities.)
Langelett also includes a section on the management theories of motivation. It is interesting to see the transition from (what a lot of companies still hold onto) McGregor and McClelland to (motivation 3.0) Daniel Pink. I’m surprised though that Langelett didn’t speak on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s FLOW, which encompasses the mind and motivation that was also a primer to Pink’s book and philosophy.
And while Langelett does an excellent job of describing brain function, I would be remiss not to recommend Daniel Kahneman’s THINKING, FAST AND SLOW. Keep in mind (like the pun?) that Kahneman’s book can be quite daunting, while Langelett moves forward in quick, absorbable pace. You’ll learn the key essentials from HOW DO I KEEP MY EMPLOYEES MOTIVATED? in a sitting or two.
Overall, this book comes with my highest recommendation. This is the most modern, fundamental understanding on how we can make our business better. One that is authentic; one that is natural; one that feels right; and one that produces. This is a truly win-win situation for all involved.
Thanks to Dr. George Langelett for reaching out to me and offering this book for review. I have offered my true opinion, along with many suggestions to prove the soundness of the material.