“I don’t know why, but I have no motivation right now to do anything with my business!” I occasionally hear these words or something very similar from CEO clients. Where does the motivation go? How does a business owner get that “Mo” back?
Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, offers some research and some suggestions, specifically regarding intrinsic motivation. He emphasizes that for those “right brain undertakings – those that demand flexible problem-solving, inventiveness, or conceptual understanding –“, extrinsic motivation doesn’t really work. It has to come from within. “Those right brain undertakings” account for a heavy portion of the most important work performed by a business owner/CEO.
This leads to the question of what fosters intrinsic motivation in most humans. Pink’s conclusion is that it depends on “three nutrients”:
- Autonomy over task, time, technique and team
- A belief that Mastery is possible – that one can really get better at doing something
- Purpose – a belief that what they are doing really matters
Understanding this as CEO might lead to your becoming a great manager. A deliberate examination of how each is affecting your own current motivation might also open a path to self-invigoration.