One of the hardest jobs of a leader is finding, hiring, and then developing the right people you want on your team. Finding the right friends, colleagues, spouses, partners, etc. is one of the hardest things we as individuals do as well. As leaders and individuals we want to be around people who are achievement focused, especially if you are achievement focused.
In McClelland’s research he came up with three basic needs for workers and people in general.
The three basics needs are: the need for achievement, the need for authority and power, and the need for affiliation. These three needs are very basic in all of us. These three needs are what drive is to do what we do.
McClelland was most intrigued by the achievement motivated people. He asserted through his research and studies that the achievement minded person makes the best leaders and team members. He also stated that achievement minded people make the best entrepreneurs because of their success driven and results driven mindset.
Here are characteristics and attitudes of achievement minded people according to McClelland:
Achievement is more important than material or financial reward: Do you have the mindset to get the job done? The mindset to do it better than another person? Or to do it to the best of your ability and know that you did everything you could possibly do? This is the achievers mindset.
Achieving the aim or task gives greater personal satisfaction than receiving praise or recognition. Can you win and then go on about you business? Move on to the next task? Achievers don’t need the spotlight. The glory they need is knowing that they achieved what they wanted to achieve.
Financial reward is regarded as a measurement of success, not an end in itself. As one of my mentors said: Money isn’t everything, but it is good way to keep score and to see how you measure up. It’s easy to count as well, which makes it easily quantifiable. Achievers know through achievement financial rewards will come.
Security is not prime motivator, nor is status. This is one of the primary motivators that separate entrepreneurs from everyone else. They are more motivated by the achievement and the accomplishment than they are being secure or being held in high regard.
Feedback is essential, because it enables measurement of success, not for reasons of praise or recognition (the implication here is that feedback must be reliable, quantifiable and factual). No matter what you do or how well you do it, feedback is necessary to achievement and success in everything. The greatest minds in Silicon Valley say that whatever you are creating, get it to a point where it is good enough. Then take your product to the market and let the market give you feedback to make improvements. As an individual your willingness to accept feedback positively and adopt it will allow you to make changes that are necessary for you to continue to grow and work with others effectively.
Achievement-motivated people constantly seek improvements and ways of doing things better. Achievers have a mindset of “there is always a better way”, “If I would have done this”. These two phrases are what you hear from achievement minded people. Achievers realize that good enough is only good enough in the moment. They know that they must seek improvements to be good enough again.
Achievement-motivated people will logically favor jobs and responsibilities that naturally satisfy their needs. (Jobs that offer flexibility and opportunity to set and achieve goals, eg., sales and business management, and entrepreneurial roles.) Achievers want to achieve. In many jobs, measurements and accountability can be hard to measure. That is why achievers typically favor jobs that allow flexibility to get a job done and navigate towards leadership, sales, and entrepreneurship. These roles allow for goal setting and achievement to occur on their terms.
Do you have the achiever mindset? If not how can you get it?
I am in the process of researching and writing my next book. I will be looking at the above concepts and showing how they apply in our everyday lives as well as how they apply in the workplace.
To your success and your future.