October 15, 2019

73: Tactical and Adaptive Performance with Lindsay McGregor

A rockstar manager does more than make sure timelines are met and goals accomplished. They know how to get an individual or team to do the best work of their lives while finding satisfaction or meaning in the process. As this week’s guest learned, it’s not about being nice, but instead about how to be authentically yourself while enabling people to accomplish more than they ever thought possible.

Lindsay McGregor is the co-author of New York Times bestselling book, Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation. She is also the CEO and co-founder of Vega Factor, a startup building technology to help organizations transform their cultures. Previously, Lindsay led projects at McKinsey & Company, working with nonprofits, universities, school systems and Fortune 500 companies.

Lindsay and I talk about being nice and being a leader, how to manage for both tactical performance and adaptive performance, how various motivations can help or hinder performance, and what you can do to increase TOMO – that stands for total motivation.

Read the related blog article: Manage Adaptive Performance, Achieve Exceptional Outcomes

Join the Modern Manager community to get a complimentary session with one of Linday’s colleagues to plan next steps based on your team survey results. Plus, one member will will a signed copy of Primed to Perform.

Become a member by Friday October 18, 2019 to be eligible for a free private coaching session with prior guest Lindsey Caplan of episode 70.

If you work for a nonprofit or government agency, email me at mamie@mamieks.com for 20% off any membership level.

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  • Every manager must manage two types of performance: (1) Tactical performance: codifying best practices and lessons learned, keeping everyone aligned on what to do and how to do it. (2) Adaptive performance: creating conditions for and facilitating learning, problem solving, and innovation.
  • To enable adaptive performance, it helps to understand people’s motivations. Not all motivations will inspire people to achieve their best performance, especially when creativity, risk taking and growth are involved.
  • The three positive motivations are: (1) Play: find joy in doing the work itself; (2) Purpose: the work leads to a meaningful, desired outcome; (3) Potential: the work positions you for something desired in the future.
  • The three negative motivations are: (1) Emotional Pressure: do the work out of fear of disappointment or missing out, shame, or guilt; (2) Economic Pressure: the carrot and stick approach to do the work for the reward; (3) Inertia: Do the work because it’s what you’ve always done.
  • When combined, you can rate your individual or team Total Motivation (TOMO). Do this through the Vega Factor surveys (below). A team’s TOMO will predict their overall performance.
  • As a manager, you can adjust performance by changing someone’s TOMO via role design, routines and responsibilities, and professional development. You can also help connect a person’s role to the success of the team or organization by helping them feel valued for their unique contributions.


Motivation Surveys: https://www.vegafactor.com/survey


website: www.vegafactor.com

email: lindsay.mcgregor@vegafactor.com

linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsaymcgregor/


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