1.) Autonomy - or the desire to direct our own lives
2.) Mastery - the urge to get better and better at something that matters
3.) Purpose - the yearning to do what we do in the service larger than ourselves
For starters, gaining an appreciation and understanding that people's default settings are self-directed - they actually don't need to be baby-sat - will help you see that people need autonomy over task (what they do), time (when they do it), team (who they do it with), and technique (how they do it).
Then, know that engagement is the key ingredient to achieve mastery. Remember when we talked about finite and infinite games? Mastery passes through infinite possibilities and demands grit, effort, and deliberate practice.
We all have either felt or known the yearning for a higher calling or purpose. Some express it as leaving a legacy. This is something that will allow us to jump to a higher ground. We find that we're using words that emphasize more than self-interest. Businesses can put in place policies that allow people to pursue purpose on their own terms.
At the moment, I'm seeing the immediate steps the community took online to raise funds for the victims of the Haiti earthquake and their families. And we've seen many other examples of public generosity and outreach through social media. That's because alongside the profit motive, we hold dear the need to use profit to reach purpose.
Science has known that things work this way for a while, why isn't business catching up?
I've been very lucky, I'm told. In my long career, I've had the opportunity to work directly with a CEO who was also a mentor and now friend. He got the ideas Pink shares with us in Drive, and gave his teams the room to be autonomous, pursue mastery, and collectively go for a higher purpose.
Our agreement was quite simple. Right off the bat, he said he would demonstrate two thing to me:
- that he cared
- that I could trust him
And that was the extent of our implicit contract. How many of you have had this experience? If you have, you're probably nodding with me - you worked independently, grew professionally and personally, and derived immense satisfaction in delivering value to customers - internal and external. Why? Because the message you got was: you are valued and respected.
This is what it's like to work with a mentor and leader.
More often than not, however, you may find you work for another kind of person.
Someone who's not as well rounded. Someone who probably is not equipped with expansive thinking and a global mindset. In that case, if you are, you might need to protect your spirit from what I call "terrorism of the soul". The daily and constant chipping away at your confidence by manipulation, energy sapping, and disrespect.
It could be the notorious bad boss or the jealous coworker, but everyone agrees that they make life miserable for their victims and create a hostile and emotionally stifling environment.
Fed up with how these creeps treat others and poison the workplace, Sutton declares war and comes out calling them exactly what they are--"certified assholes."
Caricatured in sitcoms such as The Office, these brutes are too often tolerated until irreparable damage is done to individuals and the organization as a whole. Sutton's "no asshole rule" puts a stop to the abuse in no uncertain terms.
We need to be reminded of both behaviors, because they are choices. The fact that the second exists and that it can be prevalent in organized time, means you will need to be even more mindful of the fact that your motivation should be intrinsic.
Whatever everyone else around you chooses, remember that there is no limit for better.
And you'll be all the better for thinking that way.
[Disclosure: I received a copy of Drive from Dan Pink. This review and recommendation is based upon the quality of the material - and not on how I obtained it.]
© 2006-2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.