Spiritual Leadership as Intrinsic Motivation

Spiritual leadership involves intrinsically motivating and inspiring workers through hope/faith in a vision of service to key stakeholders and a corporate culture based on  the values of altruistic love to produce a highly motivated, committed and productive workforce.

Motivation in the workplace results when leaders create an environment that brings out the best in people as they achieve and receive individual, group, and system-wide rewards.  It refers to those desires that, coupled with expectation of reward contingent on performance, cause the individual to exert effort above minimum levels, be spontaneous, and exhibit exploratory/ cooperative behaviors

There are two basic types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic.  Extrinsic motivation consists of behaviors that are motivated by factors external to the individual.  Extrinsic rewards are given by others and may be individual, group-based, or system-wide.  Examples include promotions, pay increases, bonus checks, pressure to perform, supervisory behavior, insurance benefits and vacation time. 



Intrinsic motivation is based on interest and enjoyment of an activity for its own sake and is associated with active engagement in tasks that people find interesting and that, in turn, promote growth and satisfy higher order needs.  Intrinsic motivation has been shown to be associated with better learning, performance, and well-being.

Intrinsic motivation in the workplace requires some degree of autonomy or self-management.  Intrinsically motivated workers feel competence and relatedness through working in empowered teams that are directing their activities toward a meaningful purpose and doing something they regard as significant and meaningful.  Individuals in empowered teams have a sense of ownership of the work and are completely engaged in its tasks, which require their best thinking and creativity.  They take pride in their work and are excited in having a sense of progress and seeing the results of their efforts.

Intrinsic rewards result from the internal experience one has in performing a task that one feels gives satisfaction through its performance.  Solving a problem at work that benefits others that may fulfill a personal mission or purpose, being part of a “winning” team, or completion of a complex task that gives a pleasant feeling of accomplishment are examples.  For individuals experiencing intrinsic motivation the performance of the task becomes the reward.  In this sense performance and rewards are fused, indistinguishable, or become one and the same.

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