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In this quote, Ron Johnson is contrasting different ways to motivate employees or teams. The best interpretation is:
- Johnson says people can be motivated either by a shared sense of mission/purpose for their work, or alternatively by financial compensation/money.
- However, he believes that motivating through a higher calling or mission is more effective long-term than only using monetary incentives.
- Johnson’s view is that appealing to people’s desire to contribute to an important cause or vision will drive sustained effort and engagement better than temporary rewards like bonuses or raises alone.
- The overall message is that according to Johnson, motivation rooted in a meaningful mission or values is more powerful than motivation based solely on compensation, as the former taps into deeper human needs for purpose and impact beyond oneself.