The LADGAS problem (motivation in management)

I think one of the the biggest challenges with management (and perhaps life in general) is dealing with people who happen to be feeling lazy, and just don't give a sh!t at the moment.

This seems to be particularly difficult with "boring" jobs, like call centers, retail, etc.

How many times have you called up a company to get some information, do some calculations, fix an error on your phone bill -- but they just aren't into it?

Perhaps they haven't had their coffee yet, or stayed out too late the night before.  Who knows.

Whatever the cause, you can tell they really and truly don't care one bit about what you need them to do.

When it comes down to it, motivation might be the most important aspect of management.

You could have the best processes in the world, but if people have no incentive to follow them, they won't.

So what's your advice?  How do you manage people who are feeling Lazy And Don't Give A Sh!t?


  1. performance based remuneration works. I have just endured the commission based culture again, seems to work well enough if the team goal is to close the deals.

    But I would say that almost every business is now heading towards being service based. So this particular sales = reward model is perhaps out dated. Possibly the answer involves more of a :
    client retention + successful products matched + positive client feed back factor = reward
    is the answer

  2. I keep this on my whiteboard: Autonomy, Mastery, & Purpose.

    If you can give people these three things it will increase their motivation. Even just one of them will help.

    I like to think that most people aren't born lazy and/or DGAS, they end up that way because when they try to go the extra mile they get shut down, or when they try to learn something new they're told not to bother. You get the idea.

    When they know what the company goals are and get rewarded for helping the company achieve them it creates a sense of purpose & engagement.

    If you give your workers the chance to grow and become a master at their job and then respect them by allowing them to make changes where they see fit: they will become much more engaged. If your process is so strict that simple improvements are not allowed then the best workers (who can find better jobs) will leave and you'll be left with LADGAS employees because you're making it too hard for them to be their best.

    For more information; Dan Pink gave an excellent Ted Talk on the issue of motivation.

    P.S. Sorry for the rant.


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