What Motivates Us?

Motivation of self and others is a hot topic in business precisely because it can be quite a challenge. What motivates people over the years has changed in large part because how we work has changed.

Never in the history of time have so many people held jobs where their contribution is based on their knowledge or building on the knowledge of others.

Motivated employees are more successful, more committed, more upbeat, and more engaged—as are kids and community members.

Unfortunately, most of us have very outdated ideas about what it takes to successfully motivate others. Outdated motivational modes actually demotivate others; so, it is essential to look at what works in this day and age.

Several years ago we discovered Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, and recognized it to be a great resource. If you haven’t read it yet, we highly recommend it: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink.

We know that the time demands of reading can be a challenge; so if you’re too busy to read the book, we’ve included a 10-minute “Cliff note” YouTube version of it that’s easy to digest. It will forever change how you approach motivating others!

As you’ll learn in the video, in order to motivate others it’s critical that you identify people whose purpose is aligned with the company’s purpose, that you help them to master the critical skills to do their jobs successfully, and then give them increasing levels of autonomy.

On the flipside, if you’re the job seeker, be sure to look for a company whose purpose is one you’re passionate about. This can make all the difference between liking your job and loving it. You’ll also want to look for clues in the job description, or during the interview process about the level of mastery and autonomy you’ll be able to attain in your role.

Take some time today to think about your purpose, your level of mastery, and how much autonomy works best for you and the company you work for. Motivating yourself or others is an ongoing process—it will be iterative as you move through the phases of your success path.

Click below to watch a video adapted from Dan Pink’s book Drive, which illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace. FYI the video begins with an ad that you can skip after a few seconds.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

If you’d like some support in putting these methods into practice (either in hiring or motivating the right people, or in finding that perfect job) contact us today about our coaching services.

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  • Linda Carpenter, Stephanie Smith

    Carpenter Smith Consulting

    Linda Carpenter and Stephanie Smith started Carpenter Smith Consulting in Portland to support individuals and teams who dream about having the power, impact and influence to create success and meaning in ... Read full profile
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