Introduction

At times, most people need an external accountability intervention to keep them motivated. In the work world, these include time sheets, overtime compensation records, peer-to-peer behavioral observations, public posting of performance indicators, group and individual feedback meetings, and performance appraisals. Psychologists call these "extrinsic motivators," and managers use them to keep employees on track. However, sometimes people develop self-motivation within the context of an extrinsic motivation system. In other words, it's possible to establish conditions that facilitate self-accountability and self-motivation. This paper presents evidence-based ways to make this happen in a work culture, as gleaned from research in the behavioral and social sciences. This is the theme of the author's second narrative coauthored by Bob Veazie, "When no one's watching: Living and leading self-motivation."

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