Motivation By Carrot or Stick — or Neither

In my  recent teleseminar, Motivation: How To Get It, Stoke It and Keep It Strong, with ace tennis coach Ed Tseng, we discussed the ephemeral nature of motivation.

David McClelland, a Harvard psychology professor and author of Human Motivation, says there are three fundamental drivers that motivate all humans: 1) achievement (the desire to compete against increasingly challenging goals); 2) affiliation (the desire to be liked/loved); and 3) power, both personalized (the desire for influence and respect for yourself) and socialized (the desire to empower others; to offer them influence and respect)

In his soon-to-be-released book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, career analyst Dan Pink posits that motivation in the 21st century is a different animal. That when it comes to problem-solving, non-linear work we are inspired by intrinsic — not extrinsic — motivators, namely autonomy, mastery and purpose. Here, in his presentation at the TED conference, he makes his case:


  1. Maddison Richards May 24, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Psychology is one of the most interesting branches of science because there are so many unknowns.,,,


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