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Author Interview: Scott Mautz – Igniting Passion!


Scott Mautz built his reputation as an executive at Procter & Gamble where he led several multi-billion dollar businesses. Beyond business success, though, he built a reputation as one of the strongest team builders in the company. He now trains other managers on these same employee engagement skills. In addition to his own business, Scott also teaches leadership at Indiana University. He’s appeared in Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, and many other national publications and podcasts.

Since making the leap to become a full time author, trainer, and coach, Scott Mautz has been a busy man. We caught up with him to talk about leadership, employee appreciation, and managers that make a difference.

What’s it been like making the leap from full-time marketing director to author, speaker, trainer?

I enjoyed everything about being a marketing director – but nothing can match the difference I’m making now in other people’s lives via my new profession. I left my old work to broaden my platform for making a difference, and being an author, speaker, trainer, and adjunct professor at Indiana University has been everything I thought it would be.

In “Make it Matter,” your focus is on the importance of purpose as an employee engagement driver. When did purpose become an employee need? Isn’t fair pay and a nice workplace enough?

First, the data couldn’t be clearer that pay and perks are simply not enough. The problem with perks is that they soon become expectations, at which point they cease to have any motivational power and frankly are more likely to demotivate. And research shows that while pay can motivate for a very short duration, on a sustaining basis it loses its motivational pull. In fact, studies show that whether you make $30,000 or $3,000,000 per year, you are equally likely to be unhappy and unfulfilled. This is where purpose comes in – our Profound Why. When we can articulate why we work so hard, for what higher order reason, it changes our relationship with our work. Purpose has always been there as an employee need. It is coming into the forefront, now more than ever, with the influx of millennials into our workforce (whom are now the majority of our workforce) and whom are clearly looking for more than a paycheck.

At Profound Performance, how do you help managers to define that purpose?

There are a series of introspective questions you can ask yourself to uncover what your purpose might be. One powerful one is to start by defining your non-negotiable, most closely held values. If you can write your 2-3 most closely held values on a piece of paper, you’re already well on your way down the path on just one avenue that can unveil your purpose. It turns out that some of the most potent purposes we can articulate closely align with and are in support of our dearest values.

We’re living in an era of increased transparency – citizens expect it of governments, consumers expect it of companies. How does this play out for employers and employees?

Is there anything more transparent than when someone is not being transparent? We human beings are pretty smart, we can spot it a mile away. We can’t afford the negative side effects that come with such revelations. Doing business today is hard enough, open and honest communication is point of entry in today’s business world. Period.

In your eBook “The Full PoTENtial,” you say that managers should help employees to stop comparing themselves to others. Aren’t those comparisons vs. top performers a motivator?

It’s all about the balance. Comparisons to top motivators can serve as a positive guide. It’s when we obsess about such comparisons, let it serve as a driver, that trouble arises. It should be a guide – not a galvanizing force in someone’s life, especially because so much about these types of comparisons are out of your hands. More powerful is to maintain comparisons to your self – to who you were a year ago, a month ago, or yesterday. Are you better than that version of yourself? It’s about constantly improving, not constantly proving.

How do leaders really know when they have a good culture?

Research indicates there are 3 core indicators of the most meaning-rich cultures, which also happen to correlate with the absolute highest-performing organizations. Those 3 attributes are caring, teamwork, and authenticity. Caring for its ability to make us feel interconnected, teamwork for the way it enhances our sense of shared identity, and authenticity for the fact that it reinforces our sense of individual identity.

What does a good employee recognition program look like today?

3 pieces: a) Managers who know how to deliver the reward and recognition in a way that feels personalized, not trivialized, b) everyone gets in on the act (peer to peer recognition is enabled), and c) the reward and recognition is frequent, but not frivolous

As you’ve called out, today’s distracted workplace can sap efficiency. What are some practical ways that managers can help to address this?

Here are 5 power tips to help any organization improve productivity:

  • Invest the time needed to properly share information
  • Encourage leaders to be enthusiastic about answering questions
  • Have an email strategy
  • Don’t skimp on training
  • Enable flexible work

Can you tell us about the manager who had the most impact on your career?

It was a manager who taught me the single, most important lesson I have gleaned from a leader: It’s….not….about….you. He was a servant leader through and through that prided himself in helping those around him become the best version of themselves. He was authentic, put his faith in me unfailingly, and invested in me.

You’ve got a new book, “Find the Fire,” coming soon – tell us about it!

70% of us are no longer inspired by, or at, our work. Wouldn’t it be better to feel fully energized and inspired, like when you first started your job? We all have the ability to rekindle our inspiration. The key is to stop waiting for it to happen and to take control of the process. You can create the conditions that will reignite your sense of inspiration. Find the Fire will reveal how you lost your inspiration in the first place, and how you can reclaim it. Greek mythology tells of the 9 Muses, 9 goddesses that gift us with inspiration. But there are also 9 Anti-Muses – 9 fiends that, unknown to us, have been sucking the inspiration out of our work life. Whether you’re wrestling with fear, disconnectedness, boredom, lack of confidence, lack of creative outlets, feeling overwhelmed, feelings of insignificance, or other inspiration sapping issues, Find the Fire will help you shake off the malaise and crank up the motivation.

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