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Archive for the tag “Choices”

Choosing Autonomy

In his book Drive, Daniel Pink discusses a need for an upgrade from our current “carrot and stick” Motivation 2.0 to a style which includes autonomy, mastery and purpose or Motivation 3.0. He helps us understand certain desires and innate characteristics born in all of us. These characteristics motivate us to perform at our highest level as we create in and explore our world.

The word autonomy originated in the 1620’s from the Greek autonomos “independent, living by one’s own laws,” from the combination of auto- “self” and nomos “custom, law.”

The common theme in several studies, is autonomy. Pink doesn’t describe autonomy as chaotic, but one of self structure. Structure over ones time, the team they work with, the tasks they take on, and the techniques they use for completing assigned tasks. He cites several studies, among which is the development of the wonderful Post-it note. This product was discovered total by accident, during a time of company sanctioned exploration. It has now over 600 variations in over 100 countries. it all came about through the desire for 3M scientist to use 15% of their work week on projects outside their normal, on things of interest to them. Google likewise has had similar successful results. They chose to invest 20% of the work week, typically one day, to tasks or ideas which interest their programmers. Again, outside the normal tasks, with very similar results. A phenomenal result among many, is Google’s gmail.

Seth Goden captures the essence of autonomy when he states, “As an entrepreneur, I’m blessed with 100% autonomy over task, time, technique and team. Here’s the thing: If I maintain that autonomy, I fail. I fail to ship. I fail to excel. I fail to focus. I inevitably end up either with no product or a product the market rejects. The art of autonomy is picking your limits. That’s the autonomy I most cherish, the freedom to pick my boundaries.”

Autonomy is just one element in the mix. Organizations are finding opportunities to improve employee engagement through a combination of autonomy, mastery and purpose. We’ll look at Daniel’s thoughts around these other two area over the next two post.

Choosing to Lead Well

Read a great segment from Mark Miller this morning –

The best leaders don’t make everyone happy. This may sound harsh to you – it may even sound wrong. It’s not intended to be rude or mean-spirited, and it doesn’t mean that great leaders try to make people unhappy. It’s just a byproduct of leading well.

To read the rest of his thoughts on this, go to The Happy Trap

Choosing to Persevere

I came across something today that I believe many people, including myself, need to be reminded of on a daily basis.

In his speech “Citizenship in a Republic,” Theodore Roosevelt famously said: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

How many times will I pick myself up from failure and disappointment to continue moving toward the goal, toward those things that will make a positive impact in the lives of others? I will do it as many times as it takes, to accomplish the goal!

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