What can leadership teach you

guideWhat executives can learn from neurobiology

To achieve results, goals are necessary. But how can employees be motivated to achieve their goals? There are motivations and motives for everything that a person does or does not do. For the neurobiologist Gerhard Roth, motives are unconscious, intuitive or conscious incentives to act. They are important when there is resistance that needs to be overcome. We are driven by what is associated with positive feelings.

There are areas of the brain that work as reward zones. There are dopamine-driven neurons. But there are other neurotransmitters involved, depending on the personality and your strongest motivation:

  • a high oxytocin level if affection and social closeness are sought,
  • high testosterone levels when power and status are the driving force,
  • a high level of dopamine when it comes to performance.

If these motives are satisfied, the intrinsic rewards arise. In addition, there are material and social rewards. However, these three types of rewards have completely different effects in terms of sustainability:

  • Material rewards have a quick effect, but lose their effect very quickly with each repetition.
  • Social rewards such as praise, recognition or a title wear off more slowly.
  • Intrinsic rewards, i.e. the joy of success and satisfaction of often unconscious needs, do not diminish in their effect at all. They can even increase as you perfect yourself.