Essay on Motivation and Essentialism


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Essay on Motivation and Essentialism


In today's business world, communication and soft skills have gained significant importance as a result of increased networking among different companies across the world. The concept of free trade has never been as accessible and easy throughout history. Accordingly, businesses that aim to reach global goals need to consider the importance of persuasion, motivation, and soft skills of their employees. In this assignment, reflections of The Necessary Art of Persuasion (1998) by Jay Conger, and videos by Daniel Pink and Greg McKeown have been presented. Also, this paper reveals insights into the essential steps of effective persuasion and its importance by highlighting the benefits of effective persuasion in the workplace, along with the motivational approaches that trigger employees in the workplace. After all, the world now seems to be considerably different than what it was in the 20th century, and this drastic change requires a great deal of adaptation and improvisation when it comes to our perspectives in terms of business and life.

Body Paragraphs

The Necessary Art of Persuasion (1998) by Jay Conger

The author first highlights the fact that the world trade now tends to enter a new era where businesses need to be aware of the importance of "the fine art of persuasion because today's businesses are mostly operated by cross-functional teams of colleagues (Conger 85, para. 1). He also infers that command-and-control days are over, and "the Generation X" tends to show little sympathy for forceful commands and unquestioned authority (Conger 86, para. 1). In other words, Conger claims that employees now often ask about the logic behind a business order rather than merely accepting and focusing on finalizing. Therefore, one may readily interpret that the persuasion skills of managers in a business environment are now significantly essential to maintain a productive and proper workplace.

However, Conger admits that although “effective persuasion is a difficult and time-consuming proposition, it may also be more powerful than the command-and-control managerial model it succeeds” (86, para. 3). In this sense, the persuasion was once described as “the language of business leadership by Lawrence Bossidy, the CEO of AlliedSignal (Conger 86, para. 3). The article reveals that many people perceive persuasion as a comparably (relatively) straightforward process. In other words, one first needs to state his/her position, outline the underlying arguments, and explain a highly assertive and statistical exposition that is based mostly on actual data. By doing so, one may observe a mixture of persistence, logic, and personal enthusiasm.

On the other hand, Conger claims that there exist certain elements that constitute an effective persuasion strategy; “discovery, preparation, and dialogue” (87, para. 1). Also, he believes that effective persuaders seem to be open-minded rather than dogmatic because the process itself requires a great deal of demand – compromise balance with the audience (Conger 87). According to the author, effective persuaders tend to enter the process rather prepared by considering the probable opinions and angles of the targeted audience, and are considerably open-minded. Subsequently, the response from the audience is mostly positive as they feel positive because of the open-minded authority before them. This process creates a level of trust between the audience and the persuader. Also, one may readily suggest that the level of trust among people in an argumentative environment may often result in positive and dynamic persuasion that also contributes to the overall well-being of the workplace.

The article also lists a number of techniques that can be applied for an effective persuasion in mostly a business setting. According to Conger, “a persuader should make a concerted effort to meet one-on-one with all the key people he or she plans to persuade” (89, para. 2). In other words, a persuader should build a personal communication channel with targeted individuals to address his/her motives. Furthermore, the author admits the fact that there exist some situations where no shared advantages are apparent (Conger 90). In such cases, Conger believes that persuaders need to adjust their position by putting much effort into improvising and adapting. The author also believes that the numbers are not as effective as personal storytelling. Conger highlights the importance of vivid, elaborate, and story-like language when trying to persuade the audience. In this sense, words of story and personalization create a level of emotional setting, which is highly useful for persuading individuals.

After all, the article presents insights into the difference between the old and current business settings and managerial approaches. Accordingly, there exist many differences when compared with the near past. Notably, the emergence of Generation X has created a rather free and democratic workplace that may result in many lingering ideas. Therefore, the managerial approach should often concentrate on respecting and valuing the ideas of the audience and colleagues in order to maintain a sustainable persuasion among the audience.

RSA Animate: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

The video first presents and discusses probably the most widespread concept of business and economy that the higher incentives lead to better performance, and digs deep into the reasons behind the actual and effective motivation for workers across the world (“RSA Animate”). Primarily, the video argues that although higher incentives can be considered as a source of motivation and subsequent performance in mechanic jobs (where the duties are well-ordered and clear), higher monetary incentives in sophisticated jobs result in poor overall performance. The presenter explains the situation with a few examples from India and America and highlights the findings in scholarly published articles. According to the video, psychological and sociological factors play a significant role in sophisticated jobs, and money itself cannot be the mere source of motivation.

On the other hand, the presenter continues to explain more about the actual sources of motivation. Accordingly, autonomy, mastery, and purpose constitute a long-lasting motivation for an individual and organization (“RSA Animate”). Also, the video presenter claims that organizational are slowly realizing the fact that money is not a great source of motivation for proper service and business. In other words, employees should embrace the purpose of the organization and fulfill their intellectual needs of autonomy and master to perform better. This overall approach, both by individuals and organizations, eventually end up in a great workplace.

Ted Talk – The Puzzle of Motivation

Daniel Pink reiterates the mismatch between what science knows and what business does in terms of motivation and monetary incentives to obtain better performance from employees. He asserts that the 20th-century motivators of performance do not often work in today’s world. That is, there now exist way more complex, cognitive, and sophisticated jobs when compared with the 20th century. Also, scientific findings reveal that monetary incentives result in decreasing the focus (Ted Talk). In this sense, one may highlight that cognitive jobs require a great deal of critical thinking and observation, and mechanical jobs need merely a precise and direct focus towards the job as they are not as complicated. Eventually, monetary incentives block the required and broader focus for 21st-century cognitive jobs, but they keep working on simple mechanical duties such as painting a wall or cleaning a table (Ted Talk). Pink also infers that if-then rewards may likely to destroy the creativity that is as well required for the cognitive and sophisticated modern-day jobs (Ted Talk). The presenter then finalizes by summarising the importance of intrinsic and emotional motivation rather than monetary incentives, especially in cognitive-based business models.

Animated Video – Review for Essentialism by Greg McKeown

According to Greg Mckeown, essentialism is merely doing less but in a better way. In other words, essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach to determine our highest point in contribution; in this way, executing the important stuff is more relaxed (Video Review). Essentialism is deciding about your own life rather than letting someone decide for you. Choice, discern, and trade-offs constitute the essence of an essentialist. That is, an essentialist knows what to choose or no and compare the better option with the another, and supports yet again with a big decision. An essentialist tends to explore more by escaping unnecessary drawbacks and finds a way to play, look, and sleep for the greater good of himself (Video Review). Also, an essentialist eliminates the drawbacks by clarifying, daring, uncommitting, editing, and limiting the targeted incidents that come across on the way. Eventually, an essentialist executes decisions by buffering, substracting, and progressing towards various unexpected incidents.

NPR Interview – Lessons in ‘Essentialism’: Getting More out of Life by Doing Less

During the interview, Mckeown reiterates the importance of getting rid of unnecessary distractions and focusing on the core of what is going around on our life. In other words, McKeown describes the essentialism as fighting against the distraction in business or any domestic setting. For instance, many distractions and incidents in life may create plenty of options that make the decision process even harder. When we consider the fact that we are now living in a world filled with many options, even for our dinner, deciding and committing on a single choice is often hard. There, McKeown signals the importance of essentialism. The essentialism approach can be a drastically useful asset for our society as it enables us to concentrate on what is essential and what matters (“Lessons in Essentialism,” para. 7). Accordingly, one may readily interpret that essentialism is only seeing towards to core, rather than lingering around the circle and losing our valuable time.

Essay on Motivation: Conclusion

In conclusion, this paper presents insights into the essential steps of effective persuasion and its importance by highlighting the benefits of effective persuasion in the workplace, along with the motivational approaches that trigger employees in the workplace. The Necessary Art of Persuasion (1998) by Jay Conger, RSA Animate: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Ted Talk – The Puzzle of Motivation, Animated Video – Review for Essentialism by Greg McKeown, and NPR Interview – Lessons in ‘Essentialism’: Getting More out of Life by Doing Less have been analyzed and summarized in accordance with the motivation and essentialism perspectives. After all, the world now seems to be considerably different than what it was in the 20th century, and this drastic change requires a great deal of adaptation and improvisation when it comes to our perspectives in terms of business and life.


Conger, Jay A. “The Necessary Art of Persuasion.” Leadership Perspectives, 2017, pp. 161–172., doi:10.4324/9781315250601-12.

"RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us." 1 Apr. 2010,

Staff, NPR. “Lessons In 'Essentialism': Getting More Out of Life by Doing Less.” NPR, NPR, 26 July 2014,

Ted Talk – The Puzzle of Motivation, YouTube, 25 Aug. 2019,

Video Review for Essentialism by Greg McKeown, YouTube, 24 June 2015,

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