Making Your Most Important Investment Work

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To get the best performance from your employees, it is critical that you provide structures and systems (including pay systems) that motivate them. To understand and predict what these are, you need a very good model or framework describing human motivation.

Only when you have achieved this, it is worth investing time and money in training your employees. If you do it the other way around, not only may your employees not use the new skills acquired in their training but they are more likely to leave the organisation. This means someone else is likely to get all the investment you have made in them.

I encourage you to investigate the Universal Hierarchy of Motivation (see: the UHM ). UHM provides the basis for a complete understanding of human motivation so that you can accurately predict what behaviours will result from environmental, leadership, system or structural changes.

For instance, it seems almost common sense that bonuses make employees work harder and more effectively. Yet research has found that the more you reward a person with grades or incentives, the lower the person’s productivity!

But that is  only true if people are motivated extrinsically (by external factors) rather than intrinsically (by themselves). A lot of evidence shows that they are not.

Financial rewards such as bonuses (extrinsic motivators) may work for simple/ tactical work which is easily measured. But they actually reduce people’s performance on complex/strategic tasks for several reasons. Most critically, they limit individuals’ capacity to fulfil the task by changing their focus from the actual work to how to get the best bonus (which is too often about gaming the system).



Mark began his career as a combat and chemical engineer, but quickly started to get a greater interest in human performance and leadership in particular. His first role was in the UK’s 5 Airborne Brigade, where he was a Jungle Warfare instructor, Helicopter Abseil dispatcher and Demolitions Officer for 11 years before moving into the business world for 30 years.

He specialises in enabling organisations and leaders to gain significantly greater engagement from their staff in a way that directly increases the 4P’s of purpose, productivity, performance and profit. He does this through leadership and high-performance team training in Motivational Leadership and boosting leaders’ four fundamental intelligences (which means first extinguishing the “IQ Myth”). These courses focus on leadership, self-leadership and self-awareness in both professional and personal life.

He has run leadership development and assessment courses since 1986 in twenty countries and on 6 of the 7 continents, in both military and commercial environments. Countries include: Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Switzerland, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Africa, Dubai, Jordan, Brunei, Belize, South Korea, the Falkland Islands and Fujairah UAE, involving participants from about 60 different countries from around the world.

Mark set up the international consultancy, MarkTwo Consulting, in 2002  to provide advanced leadership development and assessment programs, applying the best international organisational psychometric instruments. Mark is certified in twenty of the world’s best ones, and realised an additional instrument was needed that helped companies motivate and engage their managers and workforce. Mark researched the area and found new ways of explaining pragmatically the underlying causes of the lack of engagement and productivity. Using those findings, he developed MarkTwo Consulting’s highly innovative and holistic Universal Hierarchy of Motivation (UHM) leadership development tool.

The UHM gives leaders new insights on human intelligence and helps people to enhance their self-awareness and self-leadership in all areas. Recent advances in neuroscience have vindicated the UHM theory have added weight to its conclusions.

His drive for guiding people to be the best leaders they can be at home and work, combined with his deep knowledge and unique take on “authentic” leadership as a driver of business performance, has made MarkTwo’s courses highly sought after in Asia-Pacific.

Mark speaks at high profile events, and has been interviewed on Australian national TV, and prime time media on matters to do with capability, selection, recruitment and assessment.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Royal School of Military Engineering. He is trained in a form of Jungian psychology as well as internationally credentialled in 20 of the World’s best organizational psychology instruments for assessment and development. He is also a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development, Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Professional Facilitators, Fellow of the Australian Human Resources Institute, Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the International Coaching Federation.

He is also qualified in other unusual areas, such as a Range Firing Officer, Taekwondo blackbelt, Watermanship Officer, and an Arrest and Restraints Instructor.

Mark has published three books: MOTIVATIONAL LEADERSHIP – which debunks 10 common myths on leadership (and several illusions about intelligence); THE SEVEN MOTIVATIONS OF LIFE – a psychological reference book on the psychology of leadership and life; and A HIMALAYAN TRINITY – about insights gained from experiencing serious illness and trekking across remote areas of the Himalayas.

He has Dual Citizenship (UK/AUS) and lives in Melbourne Australia with his wife, Ruth.

Connect with him through social media:

Twitter/X: @MarkTwoConsult

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