Breath of Clarity

Comment #2: Drivers and Motivations

Original Post by Ryan Hanlon:

The most important thing I have found that keeps me coming back to my current job is the vision that has been established by upper management as well as my immediate supervisor. The concept of a vision as it is used today stems from Ronald Lippitt referring to it as “images of potential (Manning 2014, 75). Vision is a very strong and powerful word when used in reference to a company or team setting. The word paints pictures of success and can suggest orientation while implying a sense of excellence. By having a vision that has a virtuous condition and the quality of uniqueness, it can provide strength to a company (Manning 2014, 69).

In order to have a good vision it needs to understand how those involve will interact with one another. As Bourrelle discusses “We all see the world through cultural glasses. The lens through which your brain sees the world shapes your reality. If you can change the lens, not only can you change the way your brain perceives behaviors, but you change the way people relate to cultural differences” (Bourrelle 2015, 3:13-3:36).

Values and goals when properly aligned can assist in ensuring the vision comes to fruition. Paarlberg and Perry discuss the nature and roles of individual values in a workplace as well as the impact of shared values on individual and organizational performance while analyzing the process of managing workplace values (Paarlberg and Perry 2007, 388).

Values can be enduring but they are not always consistent. Organizations and individuals and claim values but are not always that is practiced. Individuals within organizations may have mutually exclusive values. Individuals may have values that are in conflict with the company (Paarlberg and Perry 2007, 388).

The findings from Paarlberg and Perry are that organization goals are motivating employees to the extent that such goals can reflect employees internal affective, normative, and task-oriented values. Additionally, middle managers play a key role in interpreting strategic values in terms of employees’ values and their everyday work responsibilities. Lastly, the process of values management is very social with managers breaking past managerial process and encouraging social interactions (Paarlberg and Perry 2007, 397).

Per Ayers, goal alignment has not received much attention in regard to performance appraisal. Goal alignment can be defined as linking individual goal outcomes within an organizations goals outcome. The research performed by Ayers tests the theory that when individual performance requirements cascade from organizational strategic plan goals, it can enhance an organizational performance (Ayers 2015, 170). The outcome was that “the differences between the two conceptualizations of goal alignment challenge the conventional wisdom that goal alignment in the performance appraisal process is useful and contributes to organizational performance. It challenges the purpose of individual performance appraisals in organizations” (Ayers 2015, 184).


Ayers, Rebecca S. “Aligning Individual and Organizational Performance: Goal Alignment in Federal Government Agency Performance Appraisal Programs.” Public personnel management 44, no. 2 (2015): 169–191.

Bourrelle, Julien S. Year (n.d.). “How Culture Drives Behaviours.” TEDxTrondheim. YouTube. July 10, 2015. Video, 12:07.

Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Paarlberg, Laurie E, and James L Perry. “Values Management: Aligning Employee Values and Organization Goals.” American review of public administration 37, no. 4 (2007): 387–408.

My Comment:

Hi Ryan,

It is awesome to hear that the importance that Manning 2014 places on vision aligns with the fuel that keeps you coming back to work each day. Considering that you’re strongly approving it, I figure the organization’s vision is simple, focused, uplifting, and usable (Manning 2014). Noel Tichy and Mary DeVanna would add that your leaders are most likely instituting empowering structures and processes (Manning 2014) if you’re feeling supported by them. I am curious what is your definition of success and how does the vision coincide with it?

Good point in highlighting the needs for goals and values to match up with the vision. Manning (2014) mentioned it is crucial to create integrity through alignment and congruency. What are some of the specific assignments that the leaders put into place to achieve broad goals? From there, what are some of the established core values to measure rightness of behavior?


Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill.