Drive - The three Elements of Motivation
Daniel Pink is an excellent author. I particularly liked his book “Drive.” The origins of motivation were interesting and discussed in detail. There are powerful examples provided to show why carrot and sticks don’t work, also why sometimes they are good.
There are two types of motivation he provides. One is Type X which is where the people do the work only for extrinsic rewards like money, status, recognition etc. Then there is type I people who do their work because of intrinsic motivation and they are self-directed. The Type X folks will not generally experience flow (the feeling of utmost pleasure and satisfaction while doing a task. This results when we lose the sense of time and get so engrossed in the work).
In the long run Type I will always outperform Type X. However the author also cautions that we cannot classify someone as completely Type X or Type I because everyone has a combination of both with only varying degrees. Carrots and Sticks were last century and Drive is for the 21st century.
The three critical elements explained are
Autonomy – This is where the individual is given total freedom to perform tasks/duties in their own way at their own pace. This results in self-direction though they are still accountable for task completion and results. Autonomy is critical to success. There are companies where days are allocated for employees to work on activities/projects of their choice not related to the work related projects. The author provides examples like Gmail, Orkut which were actually developed during this 20% of time which was not spent on work related projects. Also when employees are provided autonomy joy increases and so does productivity.
Mastery – A simple example is if your goal is to get 90% in your exam that is a performance goal whereas if your goal is to be fluent in the language then it is a learning goal. To reach Mastery you need to focus most of your time in achieving learning goals. The author also talks about deliberate practice which involves selecting activities in your area of expertise in which you are weak, repeatedly doing those tasks, getting constant feedback and striving to improve on a regular basis. Without deliberate practice Mastery cannot be attained. Mastery is a mindset, it is an asymptotic and it is painful.
Purpose – The purpose of life is a life of purpose. If an individual is driven by a mission or larger purpose flow results. Finding your purpose can be liberating and provide excitement to life. The author encourages having one sentence to describe you for example Abraham Lincoln was “He preserved the union and freed the slaves”. Keep asking yourself whether you are better off today than you were yesterday. Consistent self-analysis aligned with purpose will result in a great drive towards mastery