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A group of artificial intelligence robots

Leader beware: How AI perpetuates mistruths about motivation

(Image credit: Mohamed Nohassi/Unsplash Images) I was curious to see the results of an AI search on “How to motivate employees.” As someone who’s devoted her career to applying empirically sound motivation science, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Still, I was dismayed by the amount of misinformation and never-proven motivation practices.  I find it …

BY: Susan Fowler

PUBLISHED: September 27, 2023

friendship handshake light fixture

Lessons on motivation from the odd friendship of Maslow and Frankl

I’ve always been fascinated by unexpectedly fruitful friendships throughout history. Take the bond between Albert Einstein and Henry Ford that teaches us the value of mentoring. Or how a cross-generational creative collaboration like the one between the late great Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga can keep you relevant. (I even appreciate how photos of unlikely long-term companionship between animal species …

BY: Susan Fowler

PUBLISHED: July 26, 2023

Man trapped in bottle wants to get out, This is a set of business illustrations

Free your leadership by challenging assumed constraints

As a kid one summer, I captured grasshoppers in a glass jar. I was transfixed watching the mechanics of them jump. I remember the ping as they flung themselves against the tin lid I’d punched holes in so they could breathe. Before going to bed, not wanting to wake up to a jarful of …

BY: Susan Fowler

PUBLISHED: June 28, 2023

WD-40's secret formula will surprise you, Garry Ridge says

WD-40’s secret formula might surprise you, Garry Ridge says

Warren Buffet regards WD-40 Co. as a brand with one of the best competitive moats on the planet — meaning it can fend off competition and maintain profitability into the future. Most people assume that WD-40’s success is the product’s secret formula. And they are right.  But Chairman Emeritus Garry Ridge believes it’s the company’s …

BY: Susan Fowler

PUBLISHED: May 24, 2023

hand up stop

Why keep trying to motivate people when you can’t?

“You can’t motivate someone else — motivation is an inside job” is a widely accepted leadership axiom. So why do managers keep trying to motivate people from the outside in? Why do they attempt to manipulate behavior by incentivizing goals with tangible and intangible rewards? Why do they praise, hand out tokens and award …

BY: Susan Fowler

PUBLISHED: April 26, 2023

3d render, trophy on ladder of success, business success concept.

Why mastering motivation makes good business sense

Motivation is at the heart of everything people do (and don’t do). This truth begs a question: As a leader are you focused on honing your motivational leadership skills? Or, like so many managers, are you still held accountable for leadership competencies rooted in outdated command-and-control, leader-centric, and carrot-and-stick management theories at odds with …

BY: Susan Fowler

PUBLISHED: March 22, 2023

Business people collaborate together in office. Double exposure effects

Unlocking psychological sense

Coping with radical change is taxing. For people to thrive rather than merely survive requires complex processing, reflection, learning — and psychological sense.  Psychological sense™ is a person’s ability to fulfill their foundational psychological needs so they can experience optimal motivation, sustained high performance, and a state of thriving. When people unlock their psychological …

BY: Susan Fowler

PUBLISHED: February 22, 2023


Proof that procrastinating is bad for your health

Procrastination is more than a symptom of bad time management. You might not be surprised that procrastination is linked to depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness and reduced life satisfaction. But a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s (JAMA) online network in January 2023 relates procrastinating with severe mental health problems, disabling …

BY: Susan Fowler

PUBLISHED: January 25, 2023


Fulfilling the promise of SDT: A journey from theory to practical application (keynote)

3 June 2023
SDT2023, Orlando, FL, USA

What if organizations grasped the business case for optimal motivation at work? How could applying SDT-based leadership capacities facilitate those who joined the Great Resignation only to experience the Great Regret and end up as quiet quitters? For decades, Susan Fowler has dedicated herself to honoring SDT research while endeavoring to get to the other side of complexity to make good science applicable to leaders at all levels. In her keynote, Susan reveals learning journeys focused on the Spectrum of Motivation and leadership capacities that encourage choice, deepen connection, and build competence and much more.

Leadership and the New Imperative: Improving People’s Psychological Sense

21 May 2023
ATD23 San Diego, USA (in-person and live-streamed)

Susan Fowler speaking at the Association for Talent Development’s 2023 International Conference and Expo! High performance suffers when leaders fail to create a culture that supports flourishing. Leaders need the capacity to promote performance without eroding people’s well-being. This new imperative requires a shift in focus and priorities, but you might be astonished by how elegantly it results in thriving and effective workplaces.

Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work... and What Does Free Webinar 16 May

Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work and What Does

16 May 2023

Susan Fowler, Founder & CEO of Mojo Moments, and Garry Ridge, Chairman Emeritus of WD-40 Company, discuss how to integrate motivation science into your leadership approach or coaching practice. Susan and Garry will be sharing insights from Susan’s newest book, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does, Second Edition. Watch the recording:

RE-Coding HR pre-conference for Blanchard Israel

26 October 2021
Zoom / Israel time
Susan Fowler will be presenting Rethinking Leadership Development alongside Rares Manolescu at the RE-Coding HR pre-conference for Blanchard Israel who will be talking about how to promote OptimalMotivation in the workplace.

From Crisis to Capable by ESOP

14 October 2021
Ken Blanchard and Susan Fowler joined the exciting event, hosted by ESOP, about how your organization can help clients build the skills needed to move from crisis to capable

Foster the Future Leadership Summit

9 December 2021
Susan Fowler will be joining Jai Cole and Tom Rath for Fairfax County Park Authority’s Foster the Future Leadership Summit, happening Thursday, December 9th to speak about how the skill of #motivation is essential for building resilience, embracing change, and ensuring psychological safety—a topic that’s never been more relevant than it is today.


ARTICLE: Three Scientific Truths to Experience a Motivation Breakthrough

Susan Fowler
Berrett-Koehler Publishers hosts Susan Fowler’s article about the struggle to stop a bad habit (like procrastinating on submitting your expense reports) or start a good habit (like clearing out your emails every day)?

PODCAST: GRACE under pressure: John Baldoni with Susan Fowler

John Baldoni & Susan Fowler
On his GRACE under pressure LinkedIn Live Interview show, John Baldoni talks with Susan Fowler about how she shares her message on optimal motivation, self leadership, and thriving together in all 50 states and over 40 countries. Now, with her latest book, Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals, Susan is on a mission to help individuals master their own motivation, achieve their goals, and flourish as they succeed. Thanks to this bestseller, translated into more than over a dozen languages, thousands of managers worldwide have learned how to activate their staff members’ optimal motivation. www.susanfowler.com

ARTICLE: HR.com : Leading The Transition: Deciphering Lessons Learned

Susan Fowler
You and your team are exhausted. You’re grappling with how to accommodate 73% of workers reporting they want a hybrid work option. You’re coping with mass resignations and labor shortages as 40% of employees plan or hope to change jobs when given the opportunity. You’re struggling for the best way to handle DE&I issues, put out fires, prepare for an uncertain future, and still achieve expected outcomes. If a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, you have an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of lessons learned from the pandemic. But how do you translate and apply those lessons? Susan Morgan Bailey, Marsh & McLennan Agency Culture & Wellbeing Practice Leader, for discussions with executives and practitioners as they break down the art and science of building successful organizations

PODCAST: THE GROWTH COLLECTIVE: Resiliency Series: Motivation Science and Thriving Through a Pandemic

Susan Morgan Bailey & Susan Fowler
Susan Morgan Bailey, Marsh & McLennan Agency Culture & Wellbeing Practice Leader discuss with executives and practitioners as they break down the art and science of building successful organizations. As a guest in this episode, Susan Fowler talks about how one of the reasons a crisis is a crisis is because it threatens the three psychological needs required to thrive. Mastering your motivation enables you to create choice, connection, and competence—and rise above real and imagined threats posed by the COVID-19.

ARTICLE: Your Assumptions About ‘Motivation’ Could Be Surprisingly Wrong

Rodger Dean Duncan
As a contributor to Forbes, Rodger Dean Duncan asks What really motivates people? Money? Time off? Recognition? Personal esteem? A feeling of being needed? This whole notion of “motivation” deserves a fresh look, he says. He explores the answers with Susan Fowler in his piece published on forbes.com

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