Equitable Rewards Reinforce Purposeful Action

The following article is excerpted from a lecture by Prem Chopra at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in September 2006. The text of the entire lecture can be found in Masters of the Game: Reaching Beyond the Nexus to Success and Happiness.

The Final Step – Reward and Reinforce

The final or Twelfth Step of Purposeful Action involves Rewards and Reinforcement. In effect, rewards must be used to reinforce performance that meets or exceeds goals, and thus fulfills the mission. The mission, of course represent fulfillment of the vision, so we come full circle with the twelfth step. As we discussed earlier, rewards can be positive or negative, but they must be equitable and just. We also saw and discussed cases that showed how some managers have difficulty in giving negative rewards, especially to themselves.

We also covered, earlier, several examples of unjust and inequitable reward systems that prevail in the corporate world.


Understanding the Twelve Steps of Purposeful Action is like seeing the entire elephant, and not just the rope-like trunk or the flapping ear that resembles a fan. You have a comprehensive framework that encompasses all actions—in your personal and your professional life. You have seen how this framework can be used for continuous quality improvement. Use it completely and consistently, in all your actions—to achieve both success and fulfillment.

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