What motivates Sundar Pichai to be best CEO?

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google is rated the best CEO and known to be the best manager. What motivates Sundar Pichai to be a good manager?

As a sales leader among many managers reporting, do you see a difference in their performance? Ever wondered why do some managers are self-motivated and work whereas other’s need a constant push?

Why some managers are liked by subordinates but don’t give great results whereas others give good results but have higher attritions, complaints from people around them?

The fact is when it comes to managers performance, there is no single factor that determines why do some managers do very well and some don’t. Though most managers skill, qualifications are similar, there is a difference in the results.

The motivation which makes people act in a certain way is mostly intrinsic. The common belief among organizations that they can motivate their managers to take up bigger responsibilities, innovate, behave as a coach doesn’t work.

This is explained in the David McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory.

“There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything.
And that is by making the other person want to do it. ”
—Dale Carnegie

Human Motivation Theory

Briefly, McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory states that every person has one of three main driving motivators: the needs for achievement, affiliation, or power. These motivators are not inherent; we develop them through our culture and life experiences.

Human motivation theory is used extensively in marketing. It is used to understand how customers are moving away or towards different motivation groups and how to communicate the right language to make them take action.

The same principle also applies to the sales managers in the office. The managers in organizations are driven by the 3 motivations.

3 Types of Managers

The managers can be classified into 3 motivation groups

  1. Affiliative type manager
  2. Achievement oriented manager
  3. Institutional (Power) managers

Affiliate Manager: These managers need to be liked more than they need to get things done. Their decisions are aimed at increasing their own popularity rather than promoting the goals of the organization.

Achievement Oriented manager: These managers are motivated by the need to achieve—they aren’t worried about what people think of them. They focus on setting goals and reaching them, but they put their own achievement and recognition first.

Institutional (Power) managers:  These managers are interested above all in power. The power here refers to “Concern for influencing people”. These managers know very clearly that, to get things done, as a leader you need to influence the people around you. For this, they focus on building power through influence rather than through their own individual achievement.

The below table gives an idea of what each manager are related to,

Motivation GroupPrimary & Secondary MotivationBehaviour action and relation with sub-ordinatesLeadership Style
AffiliateHigh of Affiliation
Low on Power
High on Inhibition
• Need to be liked more than they need to get things done.
• Stay on good terms with everybody
• The decisions are aimed at increasing their own popularity rather than promoting the goals of the organisation
• Want to be appreciated and show lot of feedback
Easy Going
Democratic style of leadership
Lacks Control
AchievementHigh in Achievement
Power higher than affiliation
Low on Inhibition
• Wants to do things themselves
• Focus on setting goals and reaching them
• Put their own achievement and recognition first
• Want concrete short-term feedback on their performance so that they can tell how well they are doing
• Aren’t worried about what people think of them
Command Control & Coercive
InstitutionalHigh on Power
High on Inhibition
Achievement higher than affiliation motive
• These are interested above all in power
• Focus on building power through influence rather than through their own individual achievement.
• Most effective, and their direct reports have a greater sense of responsibility, see organizational goals more clearly, and exhibit more team spirit.
Coaching & Democratic
Influencing
Being in Control
McClelland's Human Motivation Theory Manager Motivation Group

A good manager is motivated towards building a circle of influence than to be liked or towards the personal achievement. He prefers anytime organization goal than personal aggrandizement.

Power is a great motivator

Most organizations and even many managers, especially in sales, believe being just achievement-oriented is better for organizations and their own career.

But managers motivated with achievement only actually hampers the organization. Their command control leadership style makes their subordinates not to stick to them and leave.

Also, due to too much top-down work culture, manager motivated towards achievement has everything under his control and when he leaves the team goes into disarray.

On the other hand, the studies have shown, the Institutional or Power Motivated Managers are proven to benefit the organization the maximum.

Most successful leaders are motivated by power, they take decisions which are not necessarily liked by many showing they are low in affiliation.

Also, many times some of their decisions affect their own position in short term but it helps the organization, in the long run, shows their motive towards personal achievement is less than the power.

Who is a good manager?

Based on the above factors, we can summarize what motivates a good manager and how his actions will be,

  1. Need for power is higher than his or her need to be liked
  2. Need for power is higher than achievement
  3. Helps subordinates feel strong and responsible
  4. Rewards subordinates properly for good performance
  5. Organized so that subordinates feel they know what they should be doing.
  6. Foster a strong sense of team spirit, of pride in working as part of team
  7. Is always controlled in action
  8. Motivation oriented towards his or her organization than personal aggrandizement
  9. A greater emotional maturity, less egotism.
  10. A democratic, coaching managerial style

Refer the article power-is-the-great-motivator by David C. McClelland and David H. Burnham for more insights on what motivates good manager

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