Achievement motivation seems to me to be one side of two fairly distinct groups. I'm certain there is a bit of cross over between the two in some cases. But for the most part, I think there are two categories.
This subject would closely parallel our page about the four personality traits. In that page we identified the various characteristics of different personalities with the end goal of being able to recognize the differences. This would help in a business setting as well as from a parental standpoint.
A decent understanding of the level of achievement motivation within your self and your children will also help you throughout life. The same information will assist in any workplace environment.
The level of motivation within an individual and the type of reward they seek also follows a predictable pattern. I do think that attitudes and direction can be taught. As with all things, the earlier the better, but I can attest to the fact that even older people can change in this area.
Stephen Covey writes that next to life itself, our freedom to choose is our greatest gift. Just below is a short video that highlights the first of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."
Those with a higher achievement motivation usually set fairly difficult goals. but the objectives are achievable. They are often more concerned with personal success over any type of reward. It isn't that they would not accept any congratulations or higher compensation. But the overall success of a project or resolution of a challenge is usually more important.
In many cases compensation is more a barometer of their success level. They don't excel for the money, but the money may follow the success.
Achievement motivation also leads to people seeking feedback on the level of their performance rather than any personal compliments or criticism. They want to know how they are doing in terms of the task at hand.
The other side of the coin would be considered affiliation motivated people. These folks are very concerned about how you feel about them as a person. Often, they will care more if you like them, even if you aren't as impressed with their work or study habits.
Achievement motivation traits in people usually translates into more rapid promotions and higher pay because these individuals are usually thinking about how they can do every job better. They are often the owners of business ventures as well. They seek ways to improve things and circumstances around them at all times.
The downside to this personality trait is that they often do not have patience for people who lack that same drive to do their best. When placed in a management position, a person with a high level of achievement motivation will find it difficult to hold back from "just doing it myself." Since their thoughts are usually focused on getting better all the time, they struggle with watching someone do a job halfheartedly, when they know it can be done so much better.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this page, I really believe these traits can be taught. I think it takes good character from the beginning and it takes an example from a respected teacher. Since parents should be the most important teacher in a child's life, it falls to you as that parent.
Our financial literacy curriculum is based on teaching your child about finances and responsibility. We talked about teaching them to see all sides of a situation. Show them by example how to look at conflicting arguments and find the truth. It is often somewhere in the middle.
As you read in the page about how character counts, truthfulness is always the cornerstone of good character. When you start from there, add a thirst for knowledge coupled with an ability to see both sides of a problem, you have set things in motion for your child to succeed.
Give your child early responsibility. Put them in a position to use their brain to figure out a better way. Inspire them to become people who create jobs and build networks of achievement motivation.
The challenges are already there. How they attack them will matter most. Are they more concerned with finding a better way to solve a problem or finding out how to conform so they will be liked by the "settled for less" group?
John Maxwell has written several books about reaching maximum potential. Begin with "The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership." Robert Kiyosaki wrote a book totally focused on teaching your child about financial literacy because our school system does not provide this knowledge, either by mistake or by design. "Why" A" Students Work For "C" Students And "B" Students Work For The Government" will set your own child and yourself far ahead of the general public.
Achievement motivation characteristics would include;
* The ability to set reasonably high, but certainly achievable goals. Those without this trait often set very high goals knowing they will never hit them. This gives them a ready-made excuse for quitting.
* More concern about doing a job very well and always looking for a way to do it better. Those without this trait will take short cuts and never seek to improve themselves.
* A desire to know how well the task is being completed. Those without will wonder "How well do you like me."
Achievement motivation. Always looking for a way to do something better. Always looking for ways to improve conditions. Doesn't that sound like a value worthy of instilling in your child? Maybe your child will be one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it. Maybe he or she lifts a nation back to a former level of respect and accomplishment.
Stand and cheer for them.