“A Leader’s Guide to Why People…” by Clawson

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 1
Words: 314
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: Master

The article ‘A leader’s guide to why people behave the way they do’ is dedicated to the explanation of motivators of humans’ behavior. It is essential for a leader to clearly understand what makes a person act as he does because, otherwise, the leader loses the ability to influence him. According to Clawson (2001), every individual’s current behavior could be driven by numerous unconscious factors. For example, an adult might like talking about himself because he unconsciously tries to fill emotional holes received in childhood. People’s mode of behavior is also, to some extent, predetermined by regional, national, and family cultures (Clawson, 2001). In addition to that, employees are heavily affected by the organizational culture of a company.

If a leader wants employees to be committed, he or she should think of how to motivate them. Clawson (2001) warns that the carrot and stick approach to motivating the subordinates is the wrong one. All people have different preferences, and what inspires one person to work hard might discourage another person’s desire to perform the responsibilities diligently. Clawson (2001) claims that a leader should find a unique approach to every employee through analyzing their values, assumptions, beliefs, and expectations (VABEs). This way, a leader will understand the critical drivers of employee behavior and, hence, grant an opportunity to communicate with him and influence him more effectively.

Clawson’s (2001) article changes my attitude toward people who do not meet my expectations. If a person’s actions do not correspond with my plan, I should analyze this person’s vision of the situation and VABEs. This will help to understand how to modify communication with this person so that he would behave in a more promising way. Most importantly, a person might not be guilty of not meeting my expectations. Instead, it is my fault that I have failed to anticipate that an employee will behave in that way.


Clawson, J. G. (2001) ‘A leader’s guide to why people behave the way they do’, University of Virginia – Darden School of Business, pp. 1-26.