Do you know one of the best ways to motivate other people and get them involved? Here's a clue... It's not always as simple as quoting a passage from a motivational book or threatening to fire someone, or screaming at the top of your lungs about how incompetent they are.
It tends to be one of those things that positively impacts the person reading it at the time. Not necessarily the person you want to motivate or inspire. Particularly if they're not the type person who reads or listens to it themselves.
The downsize of threatening to fire someone can have several implications. Sure you might get the immediate spur in productivity you were looking for, but in the long run you could end up losing much more then you gain. For example, it can create a sense of disloyalty and distrust in people.
Then there's the question of what happens if the person you're threatening to fire beats you to it and quits on the spot? You say it wouldn't bother you, but is that really the case? Essentially you've created a whole other problem. Now you've got to rehire someone, spend time and money training them, etc. I think you see where I am going with this right?
So what's the solution you ask? Obviously you don't want folks running around unproductive and you want those around you to operate at peak performance.
Here's the suggestion... Catch those around you doing something good! Admittedly this might sound overly simple, but you have to realize it's in this very simplicity that makes it so effective. People love to be rewarded. Often we miss the point that people are motivated in different ways.
For some people it might be monetary rewards, perhaps it is something like being publicly recognized in a group of their peers, or shown appreciation in the company newsletter for a job well done. This simple idea stretches both into the world of business and one's personal life.
It makes no difference if you're talking about dealing with your family or a disgruntled employee the fact remains that people like to be appreciated. They may tell you otherwise, but it's one of life's inescapable truths. The more you look for ways to catch people doing things well, the less you're going to find yourself worrying about the other.
Now it's time to get out there and catch those around you doing something good. One word of caution, be genuine in your approach. If you do, the rest will take care of itself.