Karin’s Leadership Articles

What Motivates You? 360 Degree Perceptions

by | Jun 21, 2013 | By Karin Hurt, Communication |

What motivates you? What would your friends say motives you? How about your mom? Your boss? Your kids?

It’s been a while since we did some real work together at Let’s Grow Leaders. Today I challenge you to a short-term experiment that I picked up reading What Keeps Leaders Up at Night. More to come on that book. It’s fantastic. I’m meeting with the author soon…

Join in the “What Motivates You” Fun

Read the activity below and follow the easy steps to participate. Join back on July 1st to share your experiences (I’ll be sharing mine).

What Motives You: An Experiment

The “what motivates you” methodology is simple

1. Write down 3 or 4 sentences that you believe truly describe what motivates you.
i.e. “To challenge people to grow toward their full potential”

2. Identify 5 or so people you trust to give you candid feedback. Ask them to tell you the complete truth. Then ask, “What do you think motivates me?

3. Listen and consider. Jot down your reactions. And your reactions to their comments.

4. Join back on July 1st to share whatever feels comfortable. This “was cool. I learned a lot ” works, no need for massive self-disclosure. Of course, we’re interested in all you’re willing to share.

What Keeps Leaders Up at Night author, Nicole Lipkin shares her advice on this experiment.

“Make sure your crew of respondents understands that you need complete candor. As you record their answers, note the context. Your mother will see you differently than will your long time colleague at work. But this is also true: People will color their answers with their own self-protective biases, distortions, and rationalizations. Still whether you like what you hear or not, perceptions can influence people as much as pure reality. If someone perceives you as a control freak, you must deal with that perception, even if you know it does not usually describe the way you operate. The appearance of impropriety is as bad as the impropriety itself. Resist your natural urge to defend yourself.”

Who’s in. Game on Come on it’ll be fun! Please comment and let me know you’re gonna play.

Namaste. Let’s grow together.

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Bob (@Culture_Ninja)

    What, no takers on this? Come on people!

    I’m in! I’m fascinated by the differences in perception. I think anyone that calls themselves a leader MUST do things like this to see how people perceive them.

    Looking forward to hearing the reactions on this…

  2. Alma Escamilla

    I’m in as well! I’m anticipating the need for a “soak period” once I have the perception trunk in my hands, wow, what will I do next? I have a certain TRUST in the comment, “it’ll be fun”. Like Bob, I’m really looking forward to hearing the reactions. Thanks Karin!

  3. Dawn

    I’m in! These kind of “experiments” are very interesting to me!

  4. Masemola

    I am definitely in. I can’t wait to hear what people have to say about me, especially those who are close to me like my mother. I really wonder what she thinks is my locus of control.

    • letsgrowleaders

      Masemola, Awesome! I am going to ask my mother today. I too am intrigued.

    • letsgrowleaders

      Sridhar, GREAT! What a nice group we have forming. Who else?

  5. letsgrowleaders

    Am so excited about our project… looking forward to our discussion.


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