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FastCompany posted an excerpt from the book “Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders” by Rajeev Peshawaria which posits that managers can more effectively motivate (and retain) employees by focusing on the three things. Peshawaria suggests that a person evaluates his/her individual Role, the work Environment, and the opportunity for professional Development. Peshawaria’s research indicates that people have an intrinsic pattern of motivation established by their values and sense of individual purpose. Knowing this, effective managers and leaders will develop strategies and tactics that tap into the individual motivations of each person. For example, I might be most engaged by opportunities to work directly with customers, and what satisfies me at work is to help customers become successful and to receive their appreciation. While my co-worker Lori might be motivated by a chance to work with talented colleagues, and to implement truly creative out-of-the-box thinking that influences the market. Our effective manager would be aware of these differences and would tap into them as we progress through our careers with the organization.

This is a useful story about influence, because it helps us consider the way that influence must be individualized. At the same time, there are principles that we can apply to help us understand how to approach each individual. If Peshawaria has correctly identified these three principles, then it streamlines my work as a manager if I can develop a few key questions to use when I check in with my employees. To see if the work I am asking them to complete is a good fit for their individual skills and interests – is it a role match? What could be done to improve the work environment – a different team assignment? office location? more or less travel? How can I ensure that employees have opportunities to develop – training programs? rotational assignments? mentorship relations with people in different departments?

Ultimately, Peshawaria’s “R-E-D” framework can be helpful in any situation where influence is needed, even in giving my next talk for an industry group. In that case I will be interested in influencing the group by first establishing leadership. How can I motivate them to be engaged by what I have to say? I’ll think about the different roles of audience members, what the environment is for the listeners in their professional lives, but also in the group context – why are they together in that place at that moment? What can I cover in the talk, or what sort of interaction can I create, which would result in development for the audience? By asking myself what my talk will achieve according to the R-E-D framework, it hope it will yield some new ideas and a successful outcome.


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