Make It Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning

Make It Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning

Make It Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning

Make It Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning


How many people find a sense of purpose in their jobs? Unfortunately, studies show that most do not. Their bodies may put in long hours, but their hearts and minds never punch in. And that's a terrible dilemma for organizations trying to motivate their workforces to do more with less.

Make It Matter is the antidote to crisis levels of disengagement. This upbeat, original book shows how meaning-rich workplaces connect, inspire, and catapult employees into new realms of productivity and well-being.

Not only does the book make a convincing case for change, it also explains how to become the kind of business where people love to work, and the kind of manager people love to work for. Insightful research findings, stories, and guidelines help readers create:

Direction: reframing work to add meaning

Discovery: offering challenges and thoughtful opportunities to learn and grow

Devotion: cultivating an authentic, caring culture, free from corrosive behaviors

When people feel that they matter, they give their all. Channel that power and everyone profits.


When the Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman was still getting his graduate degree at Princeton, he was asked to oversee a group of engineers who were tasked, without much context, to perform an endless series of tedious calculations. the math wasn’t especially difficult if you were an engineer, but the work proceeded very slowly and it was full of errors. Growing more frustrated with the performance, Feynman made a critical discovery that would dramatically alter the course of events moving forward. He realized the problem wasn’t the math, but that the engineers were totally disengaged. So he sagely convinced his superiors to let the engineers in on what he already knew—why they were performing the calculations, and why they were sweating their tails off in the New Mexico desert—in Los Alamos, New Mexico, to be exact.

It was at that time that Feynman’s boss, Robert Oppenheimer, pierced the veil of secrecy that had surrounded the work and let the engineers in on the enormity of what they were doing. They weren’t simply doing routine math for some inconsequential lab exercise. They were performing calculations that would enable them to complete the race to build the atomic bomb before the Germans did.

Their work would win the war.

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