Why Motivational Posters Suck

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"Let's tack a motivational poster to the wall, and watch our employees soar. Those puppies pay for themselves within the first minute. Yay, yay, yay!"

Blah, blah, blah, blah. Puh-lease! Our elementary, middle, and high school teachers were wrong, wrong, wrong. (Though we still love 'em!) Motivational posters do nothing but undermine people's self-motivation to produce spectacular results.

"But why do motivational posters suck so bad?"

Motivational posters forget: People already strive for Jordan-esque greatness. People are already self-motivated If put in the right conditions, in the right environment, with the right resources, people will strive to be Michael Jordan in their respective fields regardless of what you do, say, or force.

Peep this scenario.

Imagine putting an Bob inside a burning house, with his wife, and two kids. Second floor. The house is collapsing to pieces. He has three minutes. What do you think he'll do? It's an extreme scenario, but it's the same concept: if put in the right conditions, people will produce the greatest $^@^%^ results they can.

Let people become rockin' superstars.

The key question is not "How do I motivate Bob?" But: "How do I provide the necessary environment to see Bob soar like a freakin' eagle on steroids?" If you tap people's passionate soul, they will do the best they can to produce the world's greatest results. Regardless of generic motivational cardboards, signs, or speeches. Says UCLA's Dr. Samuel Culbert:

Managers should be trying to remove obstacles to productivity, and they need to ask their people how to do this. By putting up these signs, managers are showing that they don't care about the answers.

"What do I do now?"

Trash those posters. Go Zidane on those mutha fluckas. Then, lean back, and tell your bad self:

Motivational posters are pieces of bad poo.

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Posted on August 08

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