What would motivate a person to leave the security of their weekly pay check to work for them selves? To start their own business, to follow a passion, a burning desire to create something? Interestingly the key motivator is actually not money. I read an analogy recently that if you were on a boat with crocodile infested water and someone threw hundreds of hundred dollar bills in the water would you jump in to grab it? Probably not. But if your daughter fell into the water, would you jump in after her. Yes you would. But what motivates you to work?
Accordingly to the wonderfully illustrated seminar, “Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us” once you get above the rudimentary cognitive skill of work, rewards don’t work the traditional way. That is if you reward something you get more of a behaviour and if you punish something you get less of that behaviour. What the studies found was once a task involved cognitive skill the larger rewards resulted in poorer performance.
What motivates people are:
- 1. Self direction
- 2. Mastery, and
- 3. Purpose
I love my freedom and self direction is a huge driver for me. My current dream is to have one day, that is just ONE Day between Monday to Friday where I can work on my own projects not under the management of my current employer. One day where I can without guilt leave my girls in daycare and spent it the way I wish pursuing my creative and business ideas.
Mastery. Why is it we learn an instrument, study a PhD in a specific area of research, or other unpaid pursuit? Because we have an urge to get better. Malcolm Gladwell book “Outliers” quotes 10,000 as the number of deliberate practice hours you need to be an expert or a master of a particular skill or knowledge of a field. And the difference between 10,000 and a lesser number is correlated to if can only just play the piano, to just becoming a piano teacher to an international professional pianist is directly linked to the motivating factor of how many hours practice.
Purpose. Look at your company’s purpose. I would call this the “Why.” When the profit motif gets unmoored from the “Purpose” or “Why,” I would recommend you don’t want to be part of that company because generally bad stuff happens.
A purpose is the thing that gets you up in the morning to go to work. Often in network marketing we call it the “Why”? The why is the reason people buy our product, not the promise to earn a $1,000,000. Like the video says, “if we treat people like people and not horses motivated by carrots and sticks we can create companies that both makes us bettor and make the work a little bit better. “
So what motivates you to work? What is that deep burning desire that drive you to make decisions and change?