Book Review: 100 Ways To Motivate Others

Book: 100 Ways To Motivate Others, How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results Without Driving People Crazy

Author: Steve Chandler and Scott Richardson

Key message of the Book: 100 Ways To Motivate Others is a synthesis of leadership traits and principles that a leader ought to exhibit in order to motivate others to achieve desired results. A practical guide in leadership, the book includes powerful and condensed insights with truths and myths about motivation and leadership, as well as many inspiring real-life stories and anecdotes. A leader who motivates others is not a leader who controls them, but one who knows himself/herself well and acts intentionally, in a way that is inspiring to these around him/her.

For instance, great leaders who motivate others are these who:

  • understand the need for providing real and regular feedback, and the power of thoughts and of continuous learning;
  • know that self-discipline and focus are to be learned like a foreign language and are not innate traits;
  • get input from their people;
  • don’t confuse stressing with caring; are “ruthlessly” optimistic and replace worry with action;
  • manage agreements and not people;
  • don’t “focus first on trying to be liked” but “on the practices and communications that lead to being respected”;
  • don’t try to be right all the time;
  • teach others to embrace challenges and changes as they arise, to master problem-solving and do what’s required.

One specific learning from the book:  It can be draining to have pessimists in a team – these individuals who seem to perpetually complain and have a negative attitude about everything. To motivate such individuals is to inspire them. The real work is not on the pessimists to change but on the leaders to seek ways to become an inspirational figure in a pessimist’s life. Inspiration is more powerful than constructive criticism because “victims and pessimists hate to be fixed, hate to be corrected, and even hate to be taught things, because their whole position is defensive.”

Another specific learning is about inspiring “inner stability” for others even under circumstances that are always changing. People generally yearn for stability and leaders can offer that, not by looking outside themselves but by finding stability and calm within themselves in the “inner enthusiasm for work“. Doing your best as a leader every single day is a source of stability even when external changes occur: “Does anything motivate people more than to be in the presence of a leader with inner stability and self-esteem?”

One favorite quote from the book: “Masterful, artful, spirited leadership has ways of bringing out the best and the highest expression of self-esteem in others”.

One favorite passage from the book:

“You will really enjoy motivating others if you start thinking of your life as a mathematical equation. […]

Here it is:

When you are positive (picturing the math sign: +) you add something to any conversation and meeting you are part of. That’s what being positive does, it adds.

When you are negative (-), you substract something from the conversation, the meeting, or the relationship you are a part of. If you are negative enough times, you substract so much from the relationship that there is no more relationship left.

When you are a positive leader with positive thoughts about the future and the people you lead, you add something to every person you talk to.”

Steve Chandler & Scott Richardson, 100 Ways To Motivate Others

Growth Is A Journey book review is intended to represent 1-2 key nuggets of insights from the book, with an invitation for readers to discover the book in its entirety.

Published by Helene R. Johnson

Helene R. Johnson is a pseudonym. Living life as a mom and manager. Articles are also published on, a site dedicated to human resources with a focus on transformational change and development.

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