Emotional Intelligence

Heather: Three magic motivators:
Autonomy, mastery and purpose

In an earlier video called the "Do Something Principle" I shared a quick tip to get our motivation kick-started. But what about longer term? How do we align our work to what matters most and really fuel our contribution and motivation?

Motivation expert and best selling author, Daniel Pink, says this: "Carrots and sticks are so last century. For 21st century work, we need to upgrade to three things: autonomy, mastery and purpose."

What the research shows is that once money is off the table – you or people on your team are paid well enough – the differentiating factors that fuel greater motivation, productivity and performance come down to these three.

Let's explore them and put them into practice:

Autonomy – We all want to have control over how we spend our time. And, if we have the good fortune to live in the developed world, chances are pretty good that we do. Even though we may have office hours, important KPIs and responsibilities – we likely have a whole lot more autonomy than we often realise on 'how' we go about our work. Embrace your autonomy and turn it into motivation to create, innovate and problem solve. Bring your best work forward and chances are your boss will love this initiative in you!

Mastery – As my friend and Future of Work Strategist, Heather McGowan shares, the Future of Work IS Learning. With the disruption and rapid changes underway in the 4th Industrial Revolution, we must become adaptable, lifelong learners. So, follow your curiosity. What can you master and keep getting better at? Not only is this great for your future career opportunities, but fuelling this curiosity and gaining mastery will add to your happiness at work and wellbeing.

Purpose: Leaders and organisations who are flourishing are fuelled by purpose. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner regularly talks and inspires his teams about their uniting purpose: To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. You may be inspired by a purpose more personal like 'improving financial security for my family'. Or my favourite story of purpose to date: the resident artist of the New York Sanitation department, who spent over 50 years volunteering her talents to bring respect to their hard work, including spending a whole year visiting each of the New York Department of Sanitation's districts to shake the hand of every one of the 8,500 workers. And she did, she shared the purpose she saw in their work, saying: "Thank you for keeping New York City ALIVE."

So, what motivates you to do the work you do – to be a leader? What greater good inspires you? Take some time to explore your own purpose and what brings YOU alive.

Autonomy Mastery and Purpose. Three magic motivators for your own success and to inspire those you lead.


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