Make It Matter

How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning

 Make It Matter

Author: Scott Mautz
Pub Date: March 2015
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436172
Page Count: 256
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436189

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Excerpt

Introduction

WHEN THE NOBEL PRIZE-- WINNING PHYSICIST RICHARD FEYNMAN

was still getting his graduate degree at Princeton, he was asked to

oversee a group of engineers who were tasked, without much context,

to perform an endless series of tedious calculations. The math wasn't

especially difficult if you were an engineer, but the work proceeded

very slowly and it was full of errors. Growing more frustrated with the

performance, Feynman made a critical discovery that would dramatically

alter the course of events moving forward. He realized the problem

wasn't the math, but that the engineers were totally disengaged.

So he sagely convinced his superiors to let the engineers in on what he

already knew--why they were performing the calculations, and why

they were sweating their tails off in the New Mexico desert--in Los

Alamos, New Mexico, to be exact.

It was at that time that Feynman's boss, Robert Oppenheimer,

pierced the veil of secrecy that had surrounded the work and let the

engineers in on the enormity of what they were doing. They weren't

simply doing routine math for some inconsequential lab exercise.

They were performing calculations that would enable them to complete

the race to build the atomic bomb before the Germans did.

Their work would win the war.

The workplace, the work, and the workers' performance were completely

transformed once the task was imbued with meaning. From that

point forward, Feynman reported that the scientists worked ten times

faster than before with few mistakes, and with fierce commitment.

Meaning matters.

Obviously, not every workplace has as meaningful a backdrop as

global conflict. However, this book will show you what's possible in any

place of work, in your place of work, when meaning-rich experiences are

facilitated and the resultant energy is channeled toward work that truly

matters.

Engagement and productivity would know no limits--and that's

something we need more than ever.

One of the great business conundrums of our time is working with

shrinking budgets and compressed timelines but inflated demands for

productivity. We're working harder and longer for less and without a lot

of conviction. The statistics don't lie; in this increasingly more with less

business world, a shocking number of workers are more or less disengaged.

Our potential is slipping away along with, most likely, our

profits.

For the well-meaning manager, there is a solution to this conundrum,

one that can transcend the typical short-term fixes, inspire

growth and fulfillment, unlock sustained effort, and give everyone a

greater return on their investment in time at work.

It's meaning.

This book teaches you how to motivate by creating meaning so that

everyone profits--the company and all of its constituents.

Perhaps you're thinking that meaning is just a higher-order concept,

nice to imagine but too ethereal and touchy-feely to have any

practical application.

Make It Matter will shatter that misconception with dozens of

proven exercises, tools, and instructions. You'll find provocative,

insightful new concepts for driving the highest level of sustained performance

in your organization while unlocking deep fulfillment for

your constituents (and yourself) along the way.

This book is meant for managers looking to step up, stand out, and

make a step change by reframing and reinvigorating a work life that so

many want so much more from. It's for those who want to work with a

clear and rewarding sense of purpose and who want their work to

amount to a compelling legacy left behind. It's for those who want to

motivate truly peak performance. And it's for those who want to inspire

and improve the whole lives of those reporting to them, not just the

eight hours they're together.

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