Leadership Alliteration

Play, Purpose, and Potential.

A permanently placed post-it on my desk.

Alliteration, both accessible and actionable.

A little poetic fun as I write about my recent reading concerning employee motivation and the impact of workplace culture on performance. Authors and Consultants, Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor wrote a terrific book on the subject titled, Primed to Perform. Working off established organizational psychology findings, they adapted their model to be accessible for today’s leaders focused on building constructive cultures.

The framework they present resonates for me. Three factors are direct motivators Play, Purpose and Potential. The alliteration, conscience or otherwise, certainly helps with remembering each motive and connecting them as a whole of direct motivators.  I confess that I have a permanently placed post-it at my desk to remind me of these motives as I work through my day as a business operations leader. Lets not over complicate this … I am only successful when my team is successful. They are successful only when they are well motivated. As such my leadership scorecard starts with these three motives.

The research presented in this book is compelling. PLAY … when people intrinsically enjoy the job and are active in learning and adapting. Play is the strongest of the motives and found to be twice as powerful as the second motive, PURPOSE. With purpose, our values and beliefs align with the impact of the work we do. Right behind purpose is POTENTIAL, where we focus on a second order outcome … this work will lead to something else, for example, the next job that you really want.

The above three motives are directly linked to our work and performance. As leaders, we need to focus on them in the order presented. A powerful workplace is one where play is well, in play and a part of the work itself. Brave is the business leader when asked how to improve workplace culture and performance says, “We need to start with a conversation of how play a part of our workplace. A part of the work itself.”

Too often though our workplaces fall into a position where the indirect motives take control. These are Emotional Pressure, Economic Pressure, and simple Inertia. One can easily work out how these elements are removed from the work itself and can act as negative motivators in the workplace.

Powerful reading and I certainly recommend the book and a permanent Post-It of your own. A good start to this research and application can be found in this Harvard Business Review article (here).

All the best and WeMoveTogether