Motivational Management by Mike Crandall: Free Book Summary

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, the ability to effectively motivate a team is more critical than ever. Traditional approaches, often categorized as the carrot (incentive-based) and the stick (fear-based), have long dominated the strategies employed by leaders to inspire action and improve productivity. However, these methods, while effective in the short term, often fail to foster a lasting commitment. Mike Crandall, in collaboration with Sandler Training, introduces a revolutionary approach to motivation—attitude motivation. This strategy emphasizes the importance of understanding and harnessing individual drivers to achieve not only enhanced performance but also personal satisfaction and growth. By shifting focus from conventional methods to a more personalized approach, leaders can transform their teams into high-performing units where each member is motivated by their aspirations and achievements.

The Essence of Motivation: Understanding Individual Needs

Effective motivation hinges on understanding what truly drives each team member, which often transcends surface-level desires like recognition or pay. Mike Crandall illustrates this with the story of Maria and Amy, two girls facing their first day of kindergarten with differing emotions—excitement and fear, respectively. This analogy underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing individual motivations in the workplace rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach.

  • Exploring Individual Motivations

Understanding each team member’s unique background and personal goals is crucial for crafting effective motivational strategies. This involves engaging in direct conversations and showing a genuine interest in their aspirations and concerns.

  • Tailoring Motivation Strategies

Effective leaders adapt their motivational strategies to meet the diverse needs of their team. For example, some may respond well to public recognition, while others may prefer quiet support and learning opportunities.

  • Impact of Personalized Motivation

Personalized motivation strategies make employees feel valued and enhance their engagement, leading to greater loyalty, improved performance, and better team dynamics. This approach shifts from generic strategies to ones that address individual motivational landscapes, unlocking the full potential of each team member.

The Five Stages of Growth

Crandall outlines a progressive model of growth through five stages, starting with awareness and culminating in habit formation. This model is crucial for managers aiming to foster a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability. Here’s a quick rundown of the stages:

  1. Awareness: Recognizing the need for change.
  2. Knowledge: Understanding how to implement change.
  3. Application: Putting knowledge to use in specific situations.
  4. Skill Development: Refining and improving the new behaviors.
  5. Habit Formation: Integrating changes into everyday routines seamlessly.

Beyond the Carrot and Stick: A New Approach to Motivation

Traditional motivational strategies often rely on external rewards (the carrot) or fear of punishment (the stick), which can be effective in the short term but tend to falter in sustaining long-term engagement. Mike Crandall proposes a transformative shift to “attitude motivation,” encouraging personal satisfaction and growth to inspire sustained excellence.

Limitations of Traditional Methods

The carrot and stick methods can create temporary compliance but often fail to foster genuine engagement or creativity. These tactics might prompt dependency on rewards or motivate through fear, neither of which nurtures long-term commitment.

The Case for Attitude Motivation

Attitude motivation focuses on internal drives rather than external pressures. This approach encourages individuals to perform at their best by aligning their work with their personal goals and values. It transforms employees from passive followers into proactive achievers—metaphorical thoroughbreds.

Implementing Attitude Motivation

To implement attitude motivation, leaders should:

  • Develop personalized growth plans that resonate with individual aspirations.
  • Recognize efforts in a way that is meaningful to each employee.
  • Promote autonomy, allowing employees to choose how to meet their goals.

Benefits of Attitude Motivation

This approach enhances job satisfaction, loyalty, and intrinsic motivation. Employees are more likely to invest fully in their roles, driving not only their success but also the success of the organization.

The Five Critical Human Motivators

To tailor motivational strategies effectively, it’s essential to recognize that different people are driven by different desires at different times. Crandall identifies five primary motivators:

  • To DO: Driven by the achievement of goals.
  • To BE: Seeking self-actualization.
  • To HAVE: Motivated by ownership or financial rewards.
  • To ACCOMPLISH: Driven by a mission or personal contribution.
  • To BE KNOWN FOR: Desire for recognition.

Understanding which of these motivators is influencing an individual at any given time can significantly enhance how they are managed and inspired.

Practical Steps to Uncover and Utilize Motivators

Creating a supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable sharing their aspirations is critical. Crandall suggests simple, engaging activities like sharing lists of personal favorites—from movies to candy bars—to uncover deeper motivational drivers. Additionally, tools like vision boards can help connect personal dreams to daily tasks, providing a powerful source of personal motivation.

Understanding Behavioral Styles with DISC

To master team motivation, understanding each member’s preferred style of interaction is invaluable. The DISC model categorizes behavioral styles into four types—Dominant, Influencer, Steady Relator, and Compliant—each requiring different management approaches to effectively engage and motivate.


The journey towards mastering the art of motivation is both challenging and rewarding. By adopting Mike Crandall’s attitude of motivation, leaders are equipped to foster a work environment where team members are not just working for the next paycheck or out of fear of repercussions but are driven by their desires and personal growth. This approach not only elevates individual performance but also promotes a positive, dynamic organizational culture. As we move beyond the carrot and stick, we step into a realm of possibilities where motivation is personalized, deeper connections are formed, and employees are transformed into proactive, self-motivated contributors. Ultimately, the success of this transformative approach lies in its implementation—requiring continuous effort, genuine interest in individual growth, and a commitment to fostering an environment where every team member can thrive. The future of motivation is here, and it begins with understanding and valuing the unique motivations of each individual.

Actionable Takeaways for Enhancing Team Motivation

  1. Conduct Individual Interviews: Start by having one-on-one conversations with each team member to explore their personal and professional aspirations. Use these discussions to understand what motivates each person uniquely.
  2. Develop Personalized Motivation Plans: Based on the insights gathered, create tailored motivation plans that align with the individual’s primary motivators (To DO, To BE, To HAVE, To ACCOMPLISH, To BE KNOWN FOR). This customization will make your motivational efforts more effective and personally relevant.
  3. Implement the Five Stages of Growth: Educate your team about the five stages of growth from awareness to habit. Encourage and support them as they progress through each stage, focusing on long-term development rather than quick fixes.
  4. Transition from Carrot and Stick to Attitude Motivation: Shift the focus from external rewards and punishments to fostering internal drives. Highlight the benefits of becoming ‘thoroughbreds’—motivated by personal growth and achievement rather than external incentives.
  5. Utilize DISC Assessments: Introduce the DISC behavioral assessment tool to better understand and communicate with your team according to their behavioral styles. This understanding can help tailor your communication and management strategies effectively.
  6. Encourage Vision Board Creation: Facilitate a session where team members can create their own vision boards. This visual tool can help individuals articulate and visualize their career aspirations and personal goals, linking their daily tasks to these broader objectives.
  7. Regular Check-Ins and Adjustments: Schedule regular follow-up meetings to discuss progress on personal motivation plans and make adjustments as needed. This practice shows ongoing commitment to individual growth and recognizes changes in motivational drivers over time.
  8. Foster a Culture of Openness and Trust: Cultivate an environment where team members feel safe and valued sharing their thoughts and feelings. This culture encourages openness, which is critical for identifying and understanding individual motivators.
  9. Lead by Example: Demonstrate your commitment to personal growth and motivation by sharing your own experiences and how you’re applying these principles in your leadership role. This transparency can inspire your team to engage more deeply with their own motivation strategies.
  10. Provide Training and Resources: Offer workshops and resources that help employees understand and develop their motivators and skills. Investing in your team’s development not only boosts motivation but also enhances overall performance.

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