What Motivates Us!

As a long time teacher and coach, I have always been fascinated by how people are motivated. For the most part, motivation has been what I’ll call an “obvious mystery.” What I mean is this: we all have some basic ideas about how we and others are motivated and many of them are fairly accurate. What we don’t have is evidence to support our theory. Until now. Well, not true…. until December.

After changing the way I think about our business with his book, “A Whole New Mind,” Dan Pink is about to wow me again with his next book, Drive.
Drive examines the age old debate between internal and external motivation, but looks at it through the scientific eye. To sum it up, and with apologies to Dan, we learn that internal motivation works more effectively and longer. More than that, Pink shows us the limited areas when and where external motivation works (tasks involving simple, mechanical skills) and why it doesn’t in many other areas of today’s world. The real estate business surely being one of those places.

Drive examines the three prerequisites for an effective intrinsic motivator: autonomy, mastery and purpose. We are most motivated when we are doing something we want to do and like, we desire to master because we believe it matters and can do in the service of something larger than ourselves. The secret to high performance isn’t reward and punishment but the unseen intrinsic drive.

Motivation then, in a place like a real estate company, might be better facilitated or nurtured by eliminating contests for things like the most listings or the most outgoing referrals and focus on creating an atmosphere where Realtors are motivated from within. Imagine an office with people who WANT to be there, are striving to be the best they can and see a greater importance to what they provide in the consumer’s world…

Successful agents appear to love what they do, understand the importance of doing it as well as possible and see the big picture of how and where they provide service to a deeper, more meaningful world. Nobody has to force a great agent to do what they need to do. It comes from within.
Dan Pink unleashed some of what his book will provide in a presentation at the TED conference recently. You can view it at http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html