How to Think Like an Engaging Leader

April 5, 2019

In a study of hundreds of thousands of people from countries around the world, researchers discovered that of the 300 positive motives that influence people’s behaviour, 80% of all people are driven by a combination of just three motives. And more than 90% of all professionals are motivated by the same three.

For most of us, one or more of these three motivations influence your thoughts and actions:

  • Achievement: Interested in excellence, completing tasks, efficiency, beating competition, creating new personal records, being unique, and career advancement.  Think here about the stereotypical attributes of a professional sports person.
  • Affiliation: Interested in friendship, close personal relationships, being liked and accepted, and avoiding being disliked by anyone.  Think here about the attributes that you would typically link to people in caring professions such as nurses.
  • Impact (also known as Power): Interested in influence, influential relationships, and making a difference in people’s lives.  Think here about the types of behaviour and skills shown by politicians – love them or loathe them.

The combination of these motives that influences your own thought patterns has a direct and definite impact on your success in life and career.

For example, if Achievement dominates your thought patterns, you stand a good chance of success in roles such as sales or running your own business.

If Affiliation, you might be successful in a helping, assisting and caring role, such as a social worker, nurse or teacher.

And if Impact, you could be successful in roles such as a business leader, politician, author, artist, thought leader, or architect.

These thought patterns are programmed in you during childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood. But you can learn to adopt thought patterns that can bring you more success. To become an engaging leader at work the Impact motive is a key thought pattern to develop.  Helpfully, and thanks to Jesse Lahey from Engaging Leadership, there are 9 tell-tale skills that you can reflect on and learn to reframe your thought patterns towards an impact motive and become a more engaging leader.

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To find out more about how we can help you or your future leaders become an engaging leader please contact us


Incrementa has grown a significant track record in delivering business growth services to pre start and growing businesses. The team at Incrementa have helped to start over 1000 new businesses and have assisted over 250 existing businesses for all industries and sectors to grow and develop.