Is What You Know About Motivation Wrong?

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Is What You Know About Motivation Wrong?

Is What You Know About Motivation Wrong?

New research on motivation shows the way you motivate others is changing. The key questions for me are why and when? I get many great books over the holiday season and I try to work through them as quickly as I can. But when I got a copy of Drive – The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink I couldn’t put it down. Let’s see if I can motivate you to go out and get yourself a copy.

I believe a leader’s ability the motivate themselves and others is the most critical skill a great leader can have. In my role as CEO advisor, I have little control of what people do if I can’t uncover their key motivators. I was taught by a master motivator that the more you can align your interests with those of the other person, the more likely you are to get the results you want. I bet those darn millennials are going change those rules on me again, though! I believe that when you try to hustle your own agenda without concern for others, you are likely to fail.

So, how do you uncover what the other person wants and needs? I think many baby boomer leaders think what motivates them to do a good job is the same thing that motivates other people. Dan shared that what he called the carrots and sticks way of motivating others may cause a decrease in performance, not an increase. He sees this as short term motivation. Short term by its nature leaves people wandering around with only external motivation. Want to build a high performing organization? Learn to tap into the other person’s internal motivations. If you want to unleash a person’s greatest potential, you need to help them better understand why they do the things they do.

Sounds easy, right? I understand you better, I get better results from you. That’s simple, but it’s not. External motivation can and does change as an individual gets better at what they do. Think of it this way, when you just get started in a new field, everything is new and exciting. What keeps you going for the many years required to master this new area of expertise?

Dan believes that there are three components to engaging your drive for the long term. They are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. As always, I’ll share one and you can grab a copy of his book to learn about the others.

I choose to talk about mastery, it because it’s something that has not been discussed here before. I believe that it’s the one thing that many successful entrepreneurs miss, but if they begin to work with it, it can provide the greatest edge in their growing business.

When I talk with my most successful clients about motivation I’ve discovered all have mastery in a critical area of their lives. They may be good at many things, but I have found they are great at only one thing. This thing they are great at doesn’t require a great deal of motivation to get them share and work on it with them.

Here’s a billion dollar question. What do you do better than anyone else in your industry?

How do you know that you’re extraordinary at it? I’ve give you several ideas on how to identify it and what you can do to cultivate mastery as your key success factor.

Like to know more about Dan Pink, you can find more at his website

Later this week, we talk about how to develop mastery as your critical success factor. See you here!

About the Author

Tripp Braden partners with entrepreneurs and senior executives on their high engagement C-Suite communication and content marketing strategies.

He believes client education is the best way of building trust and long term sustainable growth.

His consulting practice focuses on second stage entrepreneurs, technology organizations, and senior level business executives. Tripp partners with clients to develop high impact C-Suite communication and account based marketing strategies.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Tripp at or send him an invite on LinkedIn. You can find Tripp’s business growth blog at Market Leadership Journal.

Tripp Braden – who has written posts on Empowering Serving Leaders.

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