Fundamental Leadership Profes

Topic: Lesson 4

Understanding the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how they impact individual morale is critical for leaders. Focus must be given to what motivates current and future generations to improve recruitment and retention efforts of those that serve in our military.

Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate an understanding of      how personnel are motivated differently in order to provide significant      impact on each individual.

Peer replies to further the conversation

Student replied to at least two (2) classmates’ posts and each reply includes at least three (3) to four (4) sentences relating the classmate’s post.

Responses are substantive and encourage discussion by proposing a different point of view supported by an attribution to a source, personal example, or personal application. All responses include related follow up questions to promote continued discussion.

Topic: Lesson 4 


Do you typically use an intrinsic or extrinsic reward system, and do you use differing systems for each individual?

(In need of a reply of at least 100 words)

Forum Post 1:

Re: Lesson 4, IFD #1

I will answer this question by working backwards. No, I do not use a different system for different people. I feel that offering an extrinsic reward to some and not to others would be unfair and could have an adverse affect on unit cohesion. I wouldn’t want some to feel that they are not getting something that others are for the same or greater effort. Furthermore, I would prefer to use intrinsic motivation. I can understand the value of extrinsic motivation however, as sometimes it is worthwhile and the rewards can be entertaining and fun even if it may be short-lived. However, I honestly think that my tilt towards intrinsic motivation has more to do with my own understanding of myself. I am not much of an extrovert, so looking inward is something that comes naturally to me. I personally do not find much quality or usefulness in any type of extrinsic reward. I find the value in extrinsic rewards to be quite hollow, if not entirely meaningless. For example, my new CO wants to increase our units overall PFT and CFT scores. He suggested incentives such as an extended weekend or other goodies relating to day-to-day unit life in order to convince Marines that increasing PFT and CFT scores is in their better interests. Surprisingly, there were some who actually responded positively to these suggestions, so I suppose there can in fact be use to that method. However, I was not one of them. In my mind, offering an extrinsic reward makes me feel like I am not trying to achieve something on my own accord or because I actually want to, but rather that I would be doing it for other people. I find no value in this. If it does not enrich my life or quality of being, then why should I spend any amount of effort on doing it? I have high PFT and CFT scores because it helps my career to do so, as well as keeping me active which is a large component of taking care of ones mental health. (Look good, feel good…that sort of thing). Intrinsic reward is what I respond to best because, there is greater value in exploring ones own mind and inner limitations as opposed to a short-lived extrinsic reward. I will concede that there are times when an extrinsic reward must be used as there are those who respond better to that kind of reward system. However, as the data from the reading shows, intrinsic reward will yield better outcomes in the long run. To that end, perhaps time is a factor that needs to be considered when deciding how best to motivate a group of people. Intrinsic seems that it would take more time, whereas extrinsic can sometimes be automatic upon the conclusion of a task.


What role do you think a leader plays in an individual’s determination to remain with the military?

(In need of a reply of at least 100 words)

Forum Post 2:

Re: Lesson 4, IFD #2

I believe that this is a rather open question because there’s multiple ways that a leader-subordinate relationship can influence an individuals decision to remain in the military. For instance, if the relationship is positive and the leader has built a good rapport with the subordinate, it may influence the subordinate to remain in the military. This could be due to any number of reasons, such as the leader helping the subordinate to resonate with their original reasons for enlistment (if the subordinate is possibly feeling “lost’), or perhaps the leader has helped the subordinate realize some goals for their career that they hadn’t thought of. Conversely, the leader-subordinate relationship can negatively affect the chances that the subordinate remains in the military if there isn’t any semblance of a connection between the two individuals. In such cases the subordinate may feel that the leader is disingenuous, or perhaps just a bad leader. These factors negatively impact the chances for the subordinate to continue with their military career because, if the subordinate feels this way about the leader, it’s frankly just not motivating. Therefore, why should the subordinate care about reenlistment? On the contrary, though, under the same conditions the opposite effect can take place where the subordinate feels this way about the leader, but feels intrinsic motivation to become the type of leader that they so desire to have. Additionally, to counter my first statement, even though the relationship between leader and subordinate may be one that is built on a solid foundation, the subordinate just might not be motivated, whether intrinsically or extrinsically, to continue with their career in the military. This could be due in part to the subordinate feeling that the lifestyle of the military is simply not conducive to how the subordinate wants to live their life.
In conclusion, I believe that the role that a leader plays in a subordinates decision to remain in the military is not something that is necessarily a set quantitative value, but it is more along the lines of a scale as it play both a large and a small part in such a decision.

Learning materials:

Military Motivation: Special Challenges And Techniques | Betterhelp

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