Ask Fred > Career/Work > How do you motivate others for growth?

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Dear Fred

What advice would you give to leaders whose team members say that they desire growth for the organization, yet their actions say that they are content with the way things are?

Fred's Response

S.I. Hayakawa, the respected general semanticist, said to me, “when you have the choice between believing what a person says and what a person does, take what they do.” Saying they want to grow may be their way of slowing the process. Now as the leader you have to determine why they are acting as they are. Is it that you have not given them a clear plan showing them what they should do and also how it affects their future? Remember individuals will not work long against their self-interest. If they see advantages either in security and possible promotions without endangering the camaraderie in the group they will generally welcome growth. If they see growth as only an advantage for the owners they will hesitate to participate.