Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us? is a short video animation by Dan Pink where he examines the factors behind individual motivation. In order to be effective leaders in any field, we must be aware of the motivation of our staff, clientele, followers….you name it. So what motivates people?

Well, first Dan tells us what doesn’t motivate– money. Yes, I said money. Believe it or not, money is NOT a main ingredient in the recipe for motivation. Dan says people should be paid enough so that money is not an issue. Once money is taken out of the motivation equation, leaders can shift their focus to 3 areas of human desire.

  1. Autonomy. People have a strong desire to be self-directed.
  2. Mastery. Why does the artist finish the painting that no one will see? Because he hopes to master his craft. He feels challenged and the completion of his sculpture is satisfying.
  3. Purpose. A common characteristic among some of today’s most successful companies is a strong overall purpose. Purpose (rather than profit) helps people come to work everyday.

According to Dan, leaders should stop treating people like horses chasing carrots (aka money) and work to fulfill these three desires.

Watch the video. What do you think? Are you driven by mastery?