Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement Deep Caring XXVI: The Motivations of Generativity Four

Deep Caring XXVI: The Motivations of Generativity Four

22 min read

Gary Quehl and William Bergquist

[Note: The complete book (Caring Deeply: Engaging the Four Roles of Life-Fulfilling Generativity) is available for purchase. Use the following link:  Caring Deeply.]

Throughout this series of essays, we have identified various sources of motivation that lead individuals to become generative and engage in deep caring activities. There are five motivations that seem to be particularly salient with regard to Generativity Four. They include altruism, the desire to give back to society and serve the greater public good; self-interest, doing what we want for our own benefit; achievement, being successful in situations that require excellent or improved performance; affiliation, wanting to be with people who are enjoyed; and power, the desire to have influence on situations or on others. All of these motivations have a place in the civic engagement world of Sage leaders.

Emerging Sage Leaders

Each of the five Generativity Four motivations is embraced by Emerging Sages, and achievement heads the list. As a motivator for civic engagement, organizational achievement is expressed in two principal ways. One is a desire to improve the community:

I am inspired by knowing that I am part of something larger than myself. One of my core values is community. Being able to be involved and help my community become a better place for my family, friends, and the next generation inspires me. I feel I am making a difference by taking steps toward my ultimate goal of working myself out of a job. In twenty years, I will be able to look back and see I was part of building something tangibly good in our community. I am doing what I said I would do. I will leave our community a better place.


The other important achievement motivator is to care for the natural environment:

I’m very excited and interested in creating sustainable communities. Western Nevada County is a wonderful Petri dish. We’ve done work trying to create a sustainable economy and creating sustainable agriculture. What about sustainable social systems? There’s lots of possibility here.


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