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In four words, Google CEO Sundar Pichai offered the best advice on how to lead




Parents, imagine this. Your child has passed the test you have been studying for. Do you usually wait for good test results before taking it out for ice cream?

Readers, imagine: An employee spends a long time working on a report. Do you usually wait to see the final quality before acknowledging their efforts?

If you answered yes to any of these, you may need to rethink your strategy.

In his commencement speech at Stanford University, Sundar Pichai said four words summarizing years of research into the psychology of human motivation. “Reward effort, not results.”

What he is using here is to create a source of intrinsic motivation. This means that people really enjoy doing something, love a challenge, find it interesting, and get motivated. As opposed to seeking reward (or avoiding punishment).

In other words, it makes the results irrelevant.

This may sound counterintuitive. After all, what is it for you? What you really want is that good test score, or that good report, right?

Think again. In fact, science favors the essential route. This is why you should too. Your employees and your children will thank you.

Employees (and children) procrastinate less

It’s fine to preach a results-oriented mentality, but until you have to actually put it into practice.

Being results-oriented is a form of extrinsic motivation. This means that the motivation behind your behavior is either seeking a particular extrinsic reward (higher salary, social influence) or avoiding a particular extrinsic punishment (dismissal). means

Ultimately, this direction is terrible for long-term productivity.

The external thresholds we use to measure our worth are usually determined by our environment. As such, focusing on a goal and the exact steps needed to achieve it can lead us into the trap of socially prescribed perfectionism. (SPP).

These are all unpleasant emotions. And what do we do to avoid them?

Employees (and children) learn to think outside the box

We are more likely to take risks when efforts are rewarded rather than results.

That’s how innovation is born.

why? When our performance is not judged by its ‘destination’, we gain confidence in pushing and pulling the ‘journey’ and twisting it into something unique and unplanned. , intrinsic motivation has been shown to have a positive effect on creative and innovative performance.

It is because when we are intrinsically motivated, we feel a sense of ownership in our work, connect deeply to its metaphysical meaning, develop relevant skills that make us more competent, and help us push forward. This is because I feel confident in the story.

No wonder Google was one of the first companies to become completely carbon neutral (2007), not because of the results, but because of the hard work.

Keep your employees (and kids) motivated and motivated

Life becomes an equation when we are motivated by extrinsic rewards. The problem with this is that it avoids the need for introspection. And that’s where the magic happens.

Focus on what really motivates your actions: how emotionally committed you are, how interested you are, and how you contribute to who you want to be. Hitting is an endless well and therefore a more sustainable type of motivation. .

And the proof is in the pudding. For example, research shows that students who are intrinsically motivated are more likely to put in more effort. All of this translates into better long-term performance.

Not only that, being intrinsically motivated also means being driven by short-term, skill-related goals.

So, on the one hand, we don’t stray from too far future goals, and on the other hand, we don’t get into a ‘rabbit and tortoise’ situation where we become indifferent to too far future goals. Reachable.

That’s the motivational sweet spot. There you have happy, healthy, productive and satisfied employees, teams and children.

The opinions expressed herein by columnists are their own and not those of




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