Tag Archives: Drive

Recognizing and Perpetuating Success


Ok… Last mention of Daniel Pink (Sorry guys- “Drive” is a really interesting book!)… He argues extrinsic motivation (pay, monetary incentives, etc…) doesn’t typically work over the long haul but intrinsic motivation does. However, I think there can be a way to merge both worlds.

Let’s say you are a manager in a store and you have just witnessed an employee, Sabrina, helping a customer very effectively. Sabrina is an employee who does a solid job but is not someone who necessarily leads others.

Old school extrinsic motivation reward: “Sabrina, I observed you helping that customer effectively. I want to give you a paid day off for helping that customer!” 

My suggested extrinsic/intrinsic reward: “Sabrina, I observed you helping that customer effectively. I want to let you know that your efforts, character, and performance are absolutely appreciated in this place and I am proud to have you on my team. You matter to us and I am proud of you. Here is a paid day off coupon to thank you for contributing to our company’s success in the way you do.”

In my suggestion, the reward is not an end to itself. Instead, it is in response to, not only a specific behavior that was performed, but also references Sabrina’s internal processes, her sense of self, character, and ultimately reinforces Sabrina’s sense of buy-in towards the company. Those latter characteristics are internal conventions that could certainly contribute to further intrinsic motivation – which Pink cites as being a powerful driving force in successul people.

Agree? Disagree? Do you have any experience in situations like this?

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Filed under motivation, observation




In Daniel Pink’s book “Drive,” he mentions two types of tasks followers of leaders typically accomplish:

1. Algorithmic – these tasks are led by a set of instructions that lead to one conclusion

2. Heuristic – these tasks are artistic and cannot be solved through a simple set of instructions

As one may deduce, heuristic tasks are what take the pie when it comes to innovation, profitability, and maximizing results. Heuristic tasks catch people’s attention, require special and creative thought, and more easily stimulate the success of one’s innerself.

Heuristic tasks change the world. Algorithmic tasks maintain it.

Go be heuristic today!

Go do something that involves your self and creates a sense of accomplishment and pride!

Go change the world!

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Filed under change management, communication, motivation, observation

Poop On the Beach!

Unknownphoto courtesy of yelp.com

I began my day at the beach reading Daniel Pink’s book “Drive.” While sprawled out on my outstandingly comfortable REI LTG Comfort chair (seriously! AMAZINGLY comfortable!), I observed not once – not twice – but three times various people with dogs picking up their dogs’ poop in neon plastic bags. I began to wonder…why were people doing this?

1. Carpinteria City Beach is technically not dog friendly, but there are no police there to enforce this law… or a law for leaving poop on the beach. Nope, it’s not a fear of breaking a law.

2. Perhaps this was a social norm? Peer pressure? There was probably 1/4 mile between people this morning…so fear of being seen by someone for not doing the right thing probably is a small if any factor.

3. Intrinsic motivation. (my vote 🙂   )

I believe intrinsic motivation is responsible. Intrinsic motivation is characterized by a drive to be responsible, successful, and sometimes altruistic. Perhaps people intrinsically want to keep the beaches clean for others to enjoy. Daniel Pink considers intrinsic motivation to be the strongest possible motivator and I’d agree with him.

What intrinsic motivations guide your daily actions?

Thanks God for intrinsic motivation that keeps poop off the beach.


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