Peak performance

Dan Pink states that three key motivators are mastery, purpose and autonomy. It is easy to find examples where this seems to hold in general life. Think of all the things we can customise now to make them our own and how this correlates to our level of engagement. Have you designed a piece of furniture, chosen a frame for a picture, re-designed a room, perhaps even bought accessories for your car? When we make things our own, we enjoy them more.

Consider how this plays out at work. If you set targets for your staff, do you let them design the path to achieve them? Do you give them autonomy to complete tasks in their own way (to the agreed standard, in time, on budget), or do you prefer them to do it your way? Do you always lead the discussion at team meetings and come up with the new ideas or do you facilitate the session to discover their ideas?

If your success depends on the peak performance of others, and their performance depends on motivation, and their motivation depends on being given autonomy and a sense of purpose, it makes sense to put these goals on your list of priorities this year.