Motivation Doesn’t Grow On Trees

Zack Barna, Guidelight MarketingBy ZACK BARNA, Class 24
Owner, Guidelight Marketing

As I sat down to write my New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, I found myself thinking not only about goal-setting, but also how motivation and fulfillment played into achieving those goals. While certain endeavors seem to spark an innate motivation in me, other tasks seem destined for the perpetual back burner. Motivation is paramount to accomplishing goals in every aspect of our lives – but what fuels it?

I recently read Daniel H. Pink’s thought-provoking new book DRIVE which talks about how societies, like computers, have operating systems – a set of mostly invisible instructions and protocols on which everything runs.  And these systems have evolved over time. Motivation 1.0 was all about survival (eat, drink, survive).  Motivation 2.0 was built around external rewards or punishment (the carrot on a stick).  But in the twenty-first century, people are motivated by much more complex issues than survival or money.

The new concept of Motivation 3.0 reveals that people are actually motivated by three major factors, factors that I have certainly seen at work in my own life.

AUTONOMY over time, task, team, and technique.   As a small business owner, I treasure the freedom, flexibility and independence that come with running my own shop. Autonomy absolutely drives innovation in my company and helps keep me enamored with my career. But even in a corporate environment, it’s important for people to feel empowered to make decisions and trusted to enact change within the company, in order to keep them motivated.

MASTERY – constantly getting better at something that matters, but never fully mastering it. This year, I started working out at CrossFit Scottsdale, and the fitness philosophy and environment has brought me a new level of workout motivation. Much of the hook for me is the fact that each week is full of new challenges and opportunities to grow, and I am humbled by the fact that I will never fully master every skill.

PURPOSE – a cause greater and more enduring than themselves. Pink argues that purpose maximization is taking its place alongside profit maximization. Through my involvement with community organizations like Scottsdale Leadership and Scottsdale 20-30, I have experienced first-hand that purpose and motivation go hand-in-hand. With community involvement, you get out what you put into it, which provides a different, more authentic source of motivation than money could ever offer.

The ultimate source of motivation for me is family. I want to build a successful business so I can provide for my family and offer them financial security throughout our life. I enjoy being physically fit because it means that I have the energy to romp around with my kids, and will hopefully live long enough to see them grow old! And community involvement has taken on a new importance since having children, because I want our community to be a good place for them to live and grow.

So, what motivates you? What types of motivation have worked (or not worked) in your workplace or organization?

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1 Comment

Filed under Alumni, Leadership

One response to “Motivation Doesn’t Grow On Trees

  1. abbief

    Zach — we find motivation in all sorts of places. Thanks for sharing what motivates you.

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