Motivational Maps - What Drives You To Achieve?

Motivational Maps - What Drives You To Achieve?

by Kriss Akabusi

In this post, I’ll explain the three Achievement motivators in the Motivational Map – the Director, the Builder and the Expert.  If you haven’t read my last two posts, you can find out about Motivational Maps in general here and the Relationship motivators here.

The Achievement motivators explain what drives us in our professional development.  They identify what pushes us to achieve and what keeps us striving for the next level.  So what are the traits of each, and what motivates them?

The Director

Identifying a Director:  If you’re a Director, you enjoy being in charge.  That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the boss, but you like having ownership over projects and being the one at the helm!  Directors enjoy having power over their environment, and the people and resources within it.  These guys are outcome-orientated and will call the shots to determine how to get there. 

Directors are often natural leaders and people are happy to follow their lead.  They’re at their best when managing a team, so are motivated by opportunities that allow them to do so. They’ll flourish in roles where they are in charge of others, and dream of the name on the door. However, they can struggle to see anybody else’s way as right – it’s their way or the highway!  

Imagine this scenario for an insight into the mind of a Director.  You are on a road trip and an accident happens; immediately everyone looks to you. Without flinching, you take control of the situation: “OK, you two stay here…take these blankets and get down the ravine…I noticed a path 100 yards back…and remember positive affirmation, keep speaking to the injured, reassuring them help is at hand and they will be ok…Oh, and remember ‘Breathing, Bleeding, Breaks, Burns’ in that order.

“You two, take a hike and put up this warning triangle on the apex of the bend so oncoming traffic can see something is up…make sure you are off the road and out of danger…take turns to wave traffic down too…and you Jo, get your lippy out, write ‘MEDIC’ in bold letters on the back of the map – it might be possible to get on-the-spot professional attention.  I’m going to climb the mound to see if I get better radio signal…I will let off a flare to let you know I’ve got contact.”

If this sounds like how you might respond, you are a natural Director, where everyone defers to you because they feel safe and secure in your judgments and actions.

How to motivate a Director:  A Director is all about being responsible, in charge and doing things ‘their way’.  Therefore, the quickest way to demotivate a Director is to cut resources, their ‘Reich’ and their influence – especially in a public setting, and for them, it is always a public setting! Leave them to their own devices and chances are they’ll thrive.  Of course, if you’re managing a Director, you need to have some say over what they do – but say to them, “This is what I want to achieve.  These are your resources (e.g. managers, database and budget).”  And then just leave them to it!  A Director will take it all from there, co-ordinating everything to achieve the outcome you’re after.  Also, as Directors are outcome-orientated, make sure every meeting has an agenda and a clear objective.  Don’t bother with the small talk – they’re only interested in the action points!

The Builder

Identifying a Builder:  If you’re a Builder, you’re driven by financial and material outcomes.  The reason you go to work is to make money, and what drives you is the prospect of more money! You get self-validation by knowing that your car, your house and your clothes indicate that you are ‘making it’; in this way, it’s external motivations that drive you.  Builders are quite happy doing a job they don’t enjoy – as long as it pays the most and those around them can see that too.

It’s important to Builders that they’re paid the maximum they can be paid.  When thinking of Builders in real life, we might recall the classic example of a footballer who is happy being paid £200,000 a week – until a new player is signed on £250,000.  If there’s an opportunity to be paid more – either by bargaining with the management or leaving for another team – they’ll take it!  Many City workers are also Builders – prepared to take the stress and pressure of a difficult job for the financial rewards it offers.

In my last post, we looked at Stars, and Builder-Star combinations are quite typical in Motivational Maps.  Builder-Stars love recognition – both in terms of financial and peer recognition.  Heard of the LaFerrari supercar?  It’s Ferrari’s most exclusive model which will only be sold to certain people that the company selects – regardless of how much money you make.  Now Builder-Stars would love the LaFerrari!

Motivating a Builder:  As Builders are driven by financial reward, you need to offer scope for bonuses and promotion to keep a Builder motivated at work.  They’ll expect a pay rise at least once every two years so make sure you provide opportunities for pay growth if you want to keep them around.  They’ll respond well to bonuses too, doing everything in their power to hit their targets and get that extra reward.  And if you forget to pay a Builder on time?  Don’t expect them to stick around for long!

The Expert

Identifying the Expert:  It’s not power or money that drives an Expert.  It’s knowledge.  Experts are constantly extending their understanding, their mastery, their specialisation and their insight.  They thrive on knowing more about their niche than anyone else, and are driven by the prospect of learning more! 

Experts are always on their game – training, learning and acquiring new knowledge to maintain their expert status.  They care so deeply about their knowledge, they can become incredibly embarrassed if they’re ever wrong on something, taking this to heart where others might not.

In terms of an example, I’ll revisit that of Theresa May.  I’ve identified her as a classic Defender, but she’s also a classic Expert – a Defender-Expert combination.  She has six years’ experience in the Home Office, nearly 20-years’ experience as an MP and a degree from Oxford University.  She goes about everything by applying her extensive knowledge – and if she doesn’t have the understanding, will acquire it before making a decision.  An Expert would never go on stage to speak about something they knew nothing about, and May is one of those politicians who will learn what she can before dealing with an issue.

And experts never forget; a Defender-Expert is slow to forgive.  They smell rats and worry about Shadows.  I presume that May the Defender-Expert has not forgiven or forgotten the row she had with Gove the Searcher-Expert while he was Education Secretary and she Home Secretary.  They clashed on points of principle and the then-Prime Minister had to manage these two very influential and Expert ministers of his.  When May became Prime Minister, Gove was always going to be banished into the wilderness...unless his expertise is one day needed for the survival of the party ☺

How to motivate an Expert:  Experts need the chance to constantly extend their knowledge, so offer them training opportunities and time to develop their understanding.  Give them the chance to use their knowledge and be seen as the authority on their issue.  Never ask them to speak on something before giving them the chance to research it properly – and if you challenge an Expert on their knowledge, make sure you’re right if you want to maintain their respect!

Have you identified what drives your professional development yet?  In my final post on Motivational Maps, I’ll be exploring the Growth motivators that drive our internal, personal development.

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