For a number of months I kept coming across Drive, by Daniel H Pink. Comments by Dan jumped out of magazine articles. Friends and colleagues mentioned it. Reviews landed on my desk. Eventually I decided I was probably meant to read Drive so I took it on holiday with me to Trenython Manor Hotel and Spa, a Club La Costa World Resort and Hotel, in Cornwall, in August.
It proved to be a great decision. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it. The book considers what really motivates us as human beings in the world of work, in the 21st Century, because – in Dan’s view – “Carrots & sticks are so last century”.
For a long time the world of work has operated on extrinsic motivation: financial reward, promotion, positive feedback, avoiding the punishment etc. But work has changed and we have changed. These motivators are often incompatible with 21st Century employment which has moved from ‘algorithmic’, process-oriented roles to ‘heuristic’ ones – especially in leadership -where we experiment with possibilities and devise solutions. In Dan’s view extrinsic motivators can be counterproductive for the creativity and self-motivation required for these kinds of roles.
Dan argues that ‘Motivation 3.0’ – the operating system for 21st Century employees – needs to take into consideration intrinsic motivational factors such as the desire to direct our own lives, the urge to get better and better at something that matters and the desire to live on Purpose — the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
This is something I talk about in coaching sessions with clients. I believe that if you are operating in a way that is true to your values and your personal brand, then you will not only be someone who is generally happier, more successful and more fulfilled; but this clarity will resonate in your interactions with others, making you also someone that is inspiring to be around.
Nick is a brilliant example of someone who is living on his purpose. Nick runs Trenython Manor, where we were staying and a conversation with him one evening brought Daniel Pink’s theories into vivid reality.
Under his inspired leadership, the hotel are pioneering the sustainability agenda and have not only improved profitability and lowered costs but reinvigorated the team of staff who are well on their way to inspiring a whole generation of children through fun, innovative kids clubs which include den-building, understanding biodiversity and mini-beast safaris.
“Five years ago, based on a lifelong conviction that nature is good for us in lots of ways – from the food that we eat and air that we breathe to how we run our lives – I started looking into sustainable methods that I could introduce into the management of the hotel. I have always believed in the green agenda and wanted to put it at the heart of how we ran Trenython.” says Nick.
“As part of my research and – recalling my own carefree childhood exploring local woodlands – I was also inspired by Richard Louv’s book ‘Last Child in the Woods’ about the concept of Nature Deficit Disorder in children and how far away the outdoors is to many young people these days.
“I felt that we could enrich the guest experience as well as run a sustainable business and I proposed changes to not only how we operated Trenython, but to the experience we offered our guests.
“We focused a lot of effort on our younger guests. The more you get kids involved now the more likely they are to protect the planet in the future. We completely transformed our Kids club – at first the staff thought I was completely mad but now they are the most enthusiastic of advocates, coming up with their own ideas all the time.
“I am lucky, I get to do something I enjoy and believe in. Of course it was a gamble with time, effort and resources but my conviction was so strong. I am a natural self-doubter so, having done my research, I knew I was making the right decision for the business as well as for me.”
What Nick has a shown a natural instinct for how to live on purpose – and how to ‘install’ Motivation 3.0 in his team as well through inspiring them with his own passion for the environment.
As Nick puts it: “We work for money but if we can incorporate something that fires us up then that makes us all the more powerful.”
If you’d like to find out more about Drive, visit www.danpink.com. Ascentia works with clients on a one to one and group basis to help them explore, identify and understand their personal brand, how to play to their strengths and purpose and drive performance as a result. If you would like more information please please click here to contact Ascentia or call us on 01564 702204.