Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » What is your motivation?


What makes following a leader so difficult at times? Why do we want to question a leader's practices? Where is the leader going?

Many of these problems can be answered with motivation. A leader must motivate his followers, this is well documented by many studies. However, I am not reffering to this type of motivation. The motivation I refer to is "What motivates the leader?" Scandal after scandal has rocked economics, Church, healthcare, etc. and motivation is part of the cure. When a leader cannot be trusted, it makes following much more difficult.

Defining terms. Motivation has its roots from Latin. "Motus, movere" is the Latin background and "movere" translates as "to move." What moves a person to act? Whether or not the end result is good or bad, the part that builds trust is the motivation of the person. Should a leader be self-seeking, self-promoting, self-making, or should the leader be moved by higher motivations like altruism?

The starting point is very important and has very natural ends. Isaac Newton has informed us via the First Law of Motion or Law of Inertia that "An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force." Here we hear the word "motion." If a leader is self-motivated, then I think it is plain to see his end will be self-motivating. He has created a system that will remain in force unless something acts upon it to change its course. I don't know if Peter Holt's motivations were selfish before he sought Value Based Leadership but something changed in the company's history that encouraged him to seek it, Holt Cat led by Peter Holt.

What is the basis for the lack of trust in contemporary leadership? Well, I think it is because we question the motivation. Why do we question the motivation? This is a great topic of discussion. I would propose that we lack trust these days due to classical liberalism. I don't mean Democractic or Republican. I mean the philosophy. One of Classical Liberalism main tenets is that people are egoistic. Basicially, this egotistic mark is the belief that people will act solely based on pleasure or pain for oneself. Granted some good things have come from this type of liberalism, but it also has negative effects. It is in this sense, in general terms, both political parties are liberal for one party is liberal in this sense of moral norms and the other in economics. One group says that anything should go in regards to moral code and the other says anything should go if it helps the almighty dollar.

So why do we distrust leaders? If the person will act solely on the basis of personal pain or pleasure, then we have to assume their motivation is self-seeking rather than altruistic. Maybe rethinking this part of the classical liberal philosophy needs to occur and be tweaked. What moves you? What would you want your leader to be motivated by? Will their motivation affect the organization? Would you trust a self-seeking leader?