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Is it true that people leave managers, not companies? Not anymore! Welcome to the Open Source Era!

According to Gallup, people leave managers, not companies. Is this still true in this age of uber-connectivity and free agents, where talent is abundant and knowledge is free – the Open Source Era. Our research shows otherwise.

The manager was probably the key driver of employee motivation and engagement before the Open Source Era. But is it still true in today’s economy. To find out, we asked over 16,000 people across 28 countries, what their motivation to excel at their job most depended upon– Boss, Self or Both. Guess what percentage of respondents ended up reporting “Self” as the main driver? A whopping sixty nine percent. Only 14% percent nominated their Boss as their primary source of motivation, while 17% indicated it was a combination of both. So, while it may still be true that people leave bad managers, but the reverse is not true. If you are a good boss or manager, it is not a guarantee for high employee motivation and engagement levels. Iclif’s new book Open Source Leadership: Reinventing Management When There’s No More Business as Usual, written and researched by Rajeev Peshawaria and the team, elaborates further on this concept.

Traditionally, a manager had a very significant role to play in the overall success and career development of an employee. It was imperative that you find a good boss, a good mentor, develop yourself as their apprentice by getting as much knowledge and experience as possible from them and then develop from there in your career. Today, you can get as much or more knowledge and experience from Google. Employees are more self-reliant with all the freedom at their disposal. The knowledge is free and abundant. The guru is dead, long live Google!

What does that mean for the role of a manager? Is a manager’s role totally irrelevant in employee motivation and engagement? To properly answer that question, we need to understand what motivates an employee. The second part of the survey asked the following question – Are you more intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated? Extrinsic motivation refers to drivers like salary and status, whereas intrinsic motivation refers to self-actualization needs like values and purpose. Overall data suggested that intrinsic is the bigger of the two drivers of motivation and engagement. People are looking for meaning more than money.

What does this mean in terms of managing and motivating people? To maximize motivation, managers must become good at uncovering individual intrinsic motivational factors. We have to align their pre-existing energy and passion to the work at hand by discovering intrinsic motivational factors, not just focusing on extrinsic rewards. In Open Source Era, business as usual is thing of the past. The whole practice of motivating employees and driving higher engagement at work requires a re-think.

People leave managers, not companies? Think again!

These perspectives and insights were extracted from concepts in the upcoming new book, Open Source Leadership: Reinventing Management When There’s No Business As Usual, written by our CEO Rajeev Peshawaria.



Lalit Gupta

Lalit Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer

I’m excited to announce the launch of this new book containing much-awaited new thinking such as the above, designed to challenge long-established leadership and management practices with groundbreaking ideas relevant to the age we now live in. Open Source Leadership by Rajeev Peshawaria is launching in October – don’t miss it!