Sunday, May 22, 2011

Moral Leadership Chapter 2 What Motivates? What inspires?

Underestimating Human Potential
  • The problem is that we often lead with the wrong assumptions. This situation will not improve if we merelytry harder to do the same things, fine-tuning current leadership practices. Improving our yield means changing our outlook.

The Importance of Moral Judgment
  • Individual self interest- As individual, we do the things that provide us with the greatest gain or help us incur the smallest loss
  • Self interest broadly conceived- we seek to maximize not only our individual self interest but also that of the commonweal, to enhance whatever promotes the general welfare, in the belief that it ultimately contributes to our own
  • Kant maintains that any action, in order to be moral, must be taken in the belief and because of the belief it must be right- from duty, not because of personal inclination, gain, or love.

Moral Judgment and Motivation
  • Etzioni acknowledges that individual decision making does exist but that it typically reflects collective attributes and processes, since decisions are made in the context created by people's memberships in various groups
  • The position argues here is that we humans regularly pass moral judgments on our individual urges and routinely sacrifice self interest and pleasure
  • Our actions and decisions are influenced by what we value and believe, as well as by self interest. When the two are in conflict, values and beliefs usually take precedence.

What is Important to Teachers?
  • People choose largely on the basis of preferences and emotions. As members of social groups, they find that their memberships singularly shape their individual decisions.

The Traditional Motivation Rule
  • What gets rewarded gets done
  • although what gets rewarded often gets done, the reverse is also true: what does not get rewarded does not get done
  • Leaders must constantly monitor the exchange of rewards for work
  • What gets rewarded gets done discourages people from becoming self managed and self motivated
  • What gets rewarded gets done can alter ones attachment to an activity, making it extrinsic instead of intrinsic or moral
  • When calculated involvement is combined with narrowed focus, the ingredients for sustained superior performance are effectively removed
  • It is neither powerful nor expansive enough to provide the type of motivational climate needed in schools. One alternative to this rule is "what is rewarding gets done.". The work gets done, and it gets done without close supervision or other controls. The sources of motivation are embedded in the work itself.
  • What we believe in, and what we feel obligated to do because of a moral commitment, gets done. Again, it gets done, and it gets done well, without close supervision or other controls. One purpose of this book is to advance this motivational rule to a position at least equal to that of the other two.

  • Deep down, we know what motivates and what inspires, but to tap these sources of motivation more fully we must embark on a journey to make school life more meaningful
  • We must become more authentic with ourselves and others
  • Our goal should be to develop a leadership practice based on professional and moral authority.

This chapter reminds me of the saying, if you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there. Also, if you are not sure where you are going, then any path will do. this chapter outlines the how and why to provide motivation and goals, so that there is a shared purpose for the organization. There is a map that the organization can use to determine where they want to go and how they want to get there.

The adage that what gets rewarded gets done is widely known across leadership and management. However, rewards at time can have an opposite effect upon any meaningful change, because it takes the change from an intrinsic desire to do what is correct, and moves the emphasis of rewards to extrinsic factors, which tends to also equate that what does not get rewarded does not get done.

Therefore, to make a meaningful change, it is important to develop authenticity of motivation, so that as vision is shared by the organization, the motivation to achieve the vision is more on individual results that can achieve organizational results, implying that the followers have the capacity, competency, efficacy, and support to make a difference.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


  1. Enjoy to reading this post!!! Moral Leaders intend to serve. Instead of showcasing their own skills, Moral Leaders tend to expand the capacities of others. Thanks!!!

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