Rugby star Jonny Wilkinson last week announced his retirement from international rugby union.  Wilkinson is England’s all-time leading scorer with 1,179 points and is probably best known for kicking the winning drop-goal in the final seconds of the 2003 World Cup final.  He gained 91 caps for the England team and achieved a total of 277 points at World Cups, 50 more than any other player.  Despite a career plagued by injuries, his extraordinary determination enabled him to overcome them.  (BBC, 12th December 2011)

Wilkinson’s motivation comes from his intrinsic passion for rugby and reflects the higher levels of motivation as described in Maslow’s theory of motivation – the Hierarchy of Needs.  The extent of his commitment to the sport provided him with personal satisfaction at both a social level and in the fulfillment of higher ambitions.  Wilkinson said: ‘To say I have played through four World Cups, two Lions tours, 91 international games and a ridiculous number of injuries and other setbacks gives me an incredibly special feeling of fulfillment.’

Motivating people within an organisation can take many forms – from financial rewards or achieving promotion to simply being recognised for doing a great job.  The world’s leading supplier of semi-conductor intellectual property, ARM, gains the commitment of its employees by developing talent through training, providing individuals with the opportunities to grow into new roles and rewarding both individual and team efforts.

Jonny Wilkinson’s motivation was evident to others.  Lewis Moody, who played alongside Wilkinson in the World Cup-winning team, said: ‘He put everything into what he did. It was incredible to watch him train and perform.’  Former England team-mate Mark Cueto added: ‘Not only has he been a world-class player, but he has inspired thousands to play and watch the game of rugby.  The more he achieved, the harder he worked and that’s an unbelievable attribute to have.’

Wilkinson added: ‘Playing the game, representing the team, giving my all and never letting go has meant everything to me.  For me now, I will continue to focus ever harder on my goal of being the very best I can be with Toulon Rugby Club and continue to embrace and enjoy wherever that path takes me.’

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