Dan Pink’s DRIVE jumps on motivation and rides it like a motorcycle on a mountain road. There are twists and turn – but the more you ride, the hotter it gets. You know – that feeling of freedom, raw excitement and the sheer rush of being alive. Oh – haven’t felt that way in a while?
It may be that your organization, team or family is using extrinsic motivators (carrot and stick) to motivate team members. You may want to pick up DRIVE and upgrade yourself up to Mr. Pink’s three elements of intrinsic motivation:
While the book was written for workplace teams, the concepts can be applied to home, physical fitness, charity and any other dimension of your life. First, autonomy means that you have the freedom to make decisions. Mastery means that you are striving to conquer an area of interest, skill or subject. Don’t forget purpose, knowing ‘why’ you get up every day! Mr. Pink is encouraging management to adopt a new operating system that gives individuals and teams the freedom to make decisions. New generations of employees want to make a difference in the world and promote causes, charities and a cleaner world. Extrinsic motivation (compensation, benefits, incentives) still matter, but adding intrinsic motivational components upgrades your team’s internal energy.
Turn these into questions for your family, work team or for yourself:
- “Where is an area that we can make a difference?
- “Who could lead that effort?”
- “What can we learn or experience today to improve our chances of success?”
- “Why do we want to do this – really?”
There is sometimes a clash internally between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. If a person has several projects, time constraints may hinder new commitments. Taking a team approach prevents burnout and gets everyone involved. Getting new ideas from different team members keeps it fresh.
Re-wire yourself to ‘Positive’
One of my favorite quotes from the book is that positive psychology has “reoriented the study of psychological science away from the previous focus on malady and dysfunction and toward well-being and effective functioning.”  In other words, study the well-adjusted, successful people if you want to be happy, healthy, wealthy and wise. Look at the habits of high performing people and replicate these behaviors. Get in touch with the values, morals and beliefs of the people around you. What do they care about? Set your compass to a positive outlook based on autonomy, mastery and purpose. Refuse to be negative and inspire your friends, family and team mates with a new outlook on life!
 Drive. Pink. Penguin Books. 2009. P 73