What motivates you? Seriously… when was the last time you really thought about and answered this question?

Dan Pink’s book Drive is a great read for anyone interested in the topic of self-motivation or in how to create environments that will help others tap into what will motivate them.

I’ve read somewhere in the past and it’s been repeated in so many different ways by a range of authors and motivational experts that you can motivate yourself, but you can’t motivate anyone else – all you can do is to create the right environment for them to self-motivate.

Dan Pink has collated research from a range of academics and practitioners and presents a convincing case for the need to focus on intrinsic motivation rather than what business typically focuses on, which is extrinsic motivation.
Pink offer what he refers to as the ‘cocktail summary version’ of his book as follows:

“When it comes to motivation there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system – which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators – doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements: (1) Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery – the urge to get better and better at something that matter; and (3) Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

Pink suggests that the Motivational approach of most organisations is based on what he refers to as Motivation 1.0 (The drive to survive) and Motivation 2.0 (The drive to seek reward and avoid punishment). The problem, he suggests is that we have developed and potentially have always had, a third drive that requires a new level of motivational theory – Motivation 3.0. The third drive is our Intrinsic Motivation.

With many favourite aspects of this book, the one that resonated most with me, probably because I’m in the demographic he refers to, is that many ‘baby-boomers’ (Pink suggests is the largest demographic group in the western world today) are looking at their lives and asking the big questions like “what do I want out of life?” And that as the baby-boomers are bringing this questioning into the workplace, it is influencing the Gen Xrs, GenYs and the next Gen as well.

This has given rise to the need for organisations to rethink how they not only reward and remunerate people for their work, but is driving the need for management to reconsider how and when we work, and most importantly, to tap into WHY we work.

I really enjoyed Drive, and recommend it to any manager or coach, and also recommend it as a great read for anyone lacking a bit of drive in their life… you might just find that somewhere in rating your level of autonomy, mastery or purpose in your work life and personal life, that you’ll discover what’s really driving you now, and what you might need to do to live a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life.