Pearls of



Richard Martino's
Management By Desire


Whoever desires it the most is in charge of getting it done, or ...

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” –Dr. Seuss, The Lorax


For businesses: tailor your compensation and award package so that the competent people desire to get it done.

For volunteer organizations: never turn down a volunteer.


Most corporations already implement Management By Desire, but at the executive management level. Most CEO's, presidents, vice presidents, and some directors and managers, already receive some form of monetary bonus quarterly or annually based on their performance results. They are already motivated by their desires.

The problem is instilling the same desire into the ranks of labor, that is, the people who perform the actual work itself.

Because people are motivated by their own Return on Investment, management should associate their employees' compensation plans with the same desires or goals of upper management or, in the terminology of Management By Desire, delegate desire.

Delegating Desire

There are two ways to delegate desire:
  1. Instill the same vision of the corporation into the ranks of labor. This approach is common and has the same effect as a government using "For the Good of the State" to motivate its citizens.
  2. Understand what each employee wants and deliver the wants of each employee according to their performance.

For example, the president of a corporation promises his shareholders that his company will produce a certain product by a certain date. Both the president and the vice president of product development will receive a bonus if they meet this commitment. The usual approach is for the V.P. of product development to motivate his employees to make their commitment date by stating “we are all team players,” or “you can earn a big raise one year from now.”

If the V.P. of product development understood the wants of his employees, he could say, “If we meet our commitment date, then Joe will get a $2,000 bonus, Mary will get a 6% raise, John will get a promotion, Bill will get 100% paid family health insurance, and Sue will get ten more paid days off.”

Volunteer Organizations

Never turn down a volunteer. Experience has shown that, if you turn a volunteer two or more times, he will not volunteer for you again.

If a volunteer wants to help in some way, find common areas between the organization's goals and the volunteer's goals. No matter what they can do, have them do something worthwhile. They volunteered because they believe in the goals of the organization and they want to feel good about helping the organizaton achieve its goals. This is one of the few times where “For the Good of the State” actually works.

See Return on Investment Theory of Human Motivation.


Page last updated Sunday, May 3, 2020