When I was made a VP in 2000, my first thought was that I again need to learn, and a lot. So I went on and bought more than hundred books of management, each promoting a bit different approach to perfect management.
Empathic, evidence based, phenomenal, compassionate, questioning, firm, listening, demanding, goal setting, risk taking, blue ocean, Jack Welch, Wright brothers, even Clausewitz - the only ones I didn't finish tried to apply religion and mysticism as silver bullets. A few were very helpful, especially the ones with true stories from building up or transforming a company. But time and again I felt that they were missing something.
One of my earliest and dearest memories related to management is from the Air Force; a simple and powerful instruction from my commanding officer: When you track and communicate with the intercepting fighter pilot, flying to see the unknown with a fully armed warplane, remember that he is very much alone, with you as the only friend to trust.
The CO continued by noting that the pilot is operating with 100% performance, due to his sense of duty - and for his love for this country, including you. So be worth it.
Love. Nothing in the world could have motivated me better than the trust and love by the people around me there. I felt deeply honored and did everything I could to utilize and enhance my skills for that team. Obviously.
During my ten years as CEO I've re-concluded that the critical success factor in management - and almost at any interactive position in modern work life - is indeed love. When you love your people and work, it is likely to be contagious and you'll suddenly unlock a tremendous potential from them. The solid trust that follows gives you unprecedented powers in understanding those people, also their negative habits and feelings - which can usually be turned into advantages.
I love BaseN, our people, what we do and how we do it. This surpasses all other motivation methods I could think of. The universe is conspiring to make us succeed.