Question & Answer: The main motivation for most human behavior is the self, our own interest; explain…..

The main motivation for most human behavior is the self, our own interest; explain in detail what happens when leaders are motivated by this aspect of behavior. Include in your answer the definitions of Narcissism and Machiavellianism.

Expert Answer

There are multiple studies and researches in the field of human behaviour which have focused on self interest as a major motivational force. Most human beings are primarily motivated by their self interest and needs requirement. Motivation at work place is also attributed to it and one’s own need. It has been proved that self interest is one of the major determining factor of human behaviour irrespective of the environment it takes place in. However this notion of focus on self interest is often taken in a negative connotation along with egoistic behaviour. This can be well explained with a physiological trait called Machiavellianism. It is a human behavioural trait where in the people are extremely self centred and focused on self interest and goals that they may manipulate and deceive with a complete disregard to morality in order to fullfill their own interest and goals. Focus on self interest is more often than not taken in a negative connotation even when it is actually helping employees or individual to be motivated and focused.

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As a leader of an organisation or in general , it expected that the person in question would focus first on interest of his people and then be concerned about self interest. Generally it is believed to be ethical for a leader to look after the interest of his people before his won and if he does the opposite then it is considered to be an unethical and undesirable behaviour from that particular person. However as leader who leads from the front has to be motivated himself to be motivate others. As a human being everyone requires that his needs are fulfilled and that is one factor that keeps them motivated and focused. As far as motivation goes, it is always believed that self motivation is one the key factor for people to be able to lead others. In all positive sense , when a leader is motivated by fulfilment of his self interest it is expected that he will be able to contribute his one hundred percent and lead his people in the right direction. An a true and ethical leader who is motivated by self interest would always lead from the front. He would focus on his self interest not at cost of others but to get himself motivated. Physiologist have said that self interest focus could either produce a selfish behaviour or self behaviour where one’s attain self satisfaction by helping others. A leader who has his interest and goal fulfilled will always be willing to work positively. He would be highly motivated and focused on this team’s welfare and success. As human being if your needs are fulfilled then your behaviour has a positive bearing of it and that same would reflect in a leaders behaviour. Hence a leader who is self motivated and has his needs satisfied would always be beneficial to the organisations.

However, having said that a leader’s self interest focus in its true sense is a boon for the organisation, it is not always true in practical sense. That’s the reason this focus on self interest is often construed a negative behaviour and is always looked down upon specially if its coming from a persons in leadership position whether be it in a business organisation or in public life. More often than not this focus on self interest have transformed into egoistic and selfish behaviour at the cost of others well being for whom the leader was responsible. This kind of behaviour on focused on self worth and self interest manifests into a physiological behaviour trait called Narcissism which describes this kind of behaviour as excessive focus on self or excessive selfishness with complete disregard for others feeling and wellbeing. This person would always needs admiration and is not able to handle criticism in a healthy manner. If a leader displays narcissist behaviour, he will be highly ineffective in motivating others. He or she would lack the ability to listen to others and work for the welfare his people which turn would de-motivate them. These leaders would inevitably lack traits of good leader like empathy, lack of mentoring ability etc. they would always seek self gratification which is detrimental to the organisation.

As said earlier fulfilment of self interest as critical for leader as is wellbeing and success of his people or team. A leader who is positively motivated by self interest would be highly effective however people who show Machiavellianism traits and display narcissist behaviour will be highly damaging for the orgasniation.

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