Daniel Pink is the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people – at work, at school, at home. It is wrong. As Daniel H. Pink explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world.

I was gifted his book by a good friend, which was a great eye opener…thanks Christian!

There are two videos below that deliver the same message but I would watch both if you have time. It is very interesting to consider Motivation 2.0 and what we have been used to for many years. We all know that things are changing and we know in our hearts that something needs to change. Dan Pink makes it easier for us to underst and what truly motivates people… and FYI, it’s not money!

The building blocks that Dan Pink identifies: –

1. Autonomy – The urge to direct our own lives
2. Mastery – The desire to get better and better at something that matters
3. Purpose – The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

I can personally relate to it all in a big way, as an employee and as a leader/manager.

Video 1: RSA Animate

You can view other RSA Animate videos via The RSA Website.

Video 2: Dan Pink at TED


Getting to know the people that work for you is great for building and maintaining your relationship with your team. I truly believe that a happy and engaged team will deliver the best customer service. So it is vital, as a team leader, that you get involved with your team and really get to know them. This is not a prescription, this is what works for me. Your approach has to be honest and something that you believe in. Also, you will not be able to win hearts just by doing these things, your message and approach has to be consistent at all times, throughout everything you do.

I hope that I can give you a couple of tools to use at team meetings which, done properly and facilitated correctly, will take you no more than 15 minutes and the information you get back from your team will be rich and powerful. Your role as team leader is to facilitate the discussion and you should not be answering the questions for them, but asking the team probing and open questions to get information out of them.

It is crucial that everyone gets the opportunity to speak, which you can make sure happens, and try to manage the forum so that no one person overshadows the discussion.

What I do is get small teams together of no more than 10 people and perform two exercises to find out what motivates the team and what they truly believe in.

What you’ll need is a flip chart or whiteboard, some pens… and an open mind!


Find out what really motivates your team. Facilitate discussion around the following questions: –

  • What motivates you to come to work everyday?
  • Why do you get up every morning to come to work?
  • Why do you bother coming to work, and why should anyone care?

These questions are just examples, however, it can be tough to get a response sometimes and that’s where the last question comes in. It is a little harsh but gets people thinking about what REALLY motivates them and will illicit a response from people.

Money always comes up, because at the end of the day the majority of us need a job, at the basic level, to pay bills and mortgages, but that will hopefully not be the only motivator. What you will hopefully find is that your team actually enjoy coming to work and enjoy the company of those around them.

Team Values

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you believe in?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • What do you enjoy most about your work?

What you are looking for here is what the people in the team believe to be true to who they are, their morals as humans, what they believe is the correct way to behave in their working environment and throughout life.

It is important that there is a general consensus around the points made by the team. As the facilitator you can see who agrees and who disagrees with different statements and it is always interesting to take get step back at the end and summarise the results with the team.

The result

At the end of the meeting what you will be left with is a list of things that motivate your team and a list things that they really feel strongly about and what they feel is important to them.

Example results: –

Motivators Values
Money (£) Taking pride in our job
Job satisfaction Everyone does their job to the st andard expected
To be part of a team We show respect for each other
To meet and interact with people We take responsibility for our own actions
To develop personally We are honest with each other
To provide a great customer service

…but what can we do with this information?

At the very least you have engaged with your team and had some personal interaction with them. They will also be thinking a little more about their job and why they really enjoy their work, which will hopefully have positive connotations.

One great thing you can do with this information is to put it into a statement which represents what the team is all about…for example: –

“Our team love coming to work everyday to provide the best service we can. We all know what is expected of us, we work hard and take real pride in what we do. We truly believe in honesty and have great respect for each other… and that is what being part of this team is all about.”

You could print it out and display it in the work area so people can relate to it, it could be their value statement.

You could also reword the statement slightly and use it to attract new employees through a job advert or at another point in the selection process; prospective employees will then be able to really underst and how the team operate and be able to decide whether or not they have the same values and can fit in with the team.

The key part of the process is that the team agreed on the points they made together and therefore it is unique to them. It is now clear what it means to be part of the team and everyone knows why they do what they do.

I really hope that you find this useful.

Thanks for reading,


SMART Objectives

I mentioned in my previous post, my bucket
, that I think it is important to think SMART when setting objectives.
Constructing SMART objectives will allow you to have very clear objectives and
goals. It also allows you to take time to think about what you want. You may
work through this and at the end decide that what you want to do is not relevant,
or you cannot manage it and decide to take another course of action.

The SMART tool also allows you to take big ideas and break them down to bite-sized
and more manageable goals. A SMART objective will be very clear and provide
you and your team with a good underst anding of what, where, when, why and how
this goal is to be achieved. The result is an individual or team who can start
off with the correct intentions and have a really good underst anding of what
is expected. It also minimises confusion and questions, allowing your empowered
team members to get on with achieving.

I have used this tool for various types of things: –

  1. Setting basic business objectives
  2. Setting KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)
  3. Delegating tasks and projects to subordinates
  4. Setting personal goals (for example, new year resolutions)

SMART objectives can be defined as: –

S – Specific
A specific but brief description of the objective – i.e. what is the desired outcome?
M – Measurable
What are you going to use to measure performance? How will you know you
have achieved anything?
A – Agreeable
Do all parties agree to the objective and underst and why this is to be achieved?
R – Relevant
Is this goal relevant to higher level organisational objectives? Does this
fit in with our business?
T – Time-bound
At this point you can agree a deadline, or milestones depending on the size
of the project/goal/objective.

There are other versions of this out there including the ‘SMART +
tool which can be defined as: –

S – Specific

Measurable – The Parent Ego State – "How can I measure this, how will
I know I have achieved the desired outcome?"

Manageable – The Adult Ego State – "How will I be able to manage this,
can I manage this?"

Motivation – The Child Ego State – "Do I want to do this, does it interest
me, am I motivated to achieve this goal?"

A – Agreeable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound

As you can see this tool exp ands on the ‘M’ and includes three criteria allowing
you to satisfy three ego states.

A Worked Example of the SMART + tool: –

Specific –
To respond effectively and listen to my customers.
To respond to ALL customer responses.
I will have to schedule time in my diary to concentrate on this, but it
is manageable because it is a vital part of our business.
To build a better relationship with my customers, to encourage more customer
feedback, to learn from my customers.
Agreeable based upon the above – a vital part of business survival and growth.
We are a customer service organisation, so completely relevant to what we
do, and fits in directly with all organisational objectives.
The customer should receive a response from me within 5 working days of
receiving the response.

Now you have something very clear – this basically details that you are going
set time aside to respond to ALL customer responses within
5 days because you agree that it is vital for your business to be successful,
and that you want to. Most people start and finish with the first point.

As you work though the SMART + tool you will probably start thinking of all
the possibilities and have lots of relevant ideas, make sure you write them
all down.

What’s next?

You can then go on to break down each statement above, for example: –

  • You will have to think about where you customer responses come from, i.e.
    Email, letter, verbal, etc.
  • You will than have to decide how you are going to respond, i.e. by Email,
    letter, telephone, in person. This will depend upon the feedback you get,
    if it is severe you may want to personalise and have direct contact with the
    customer, you may decide that you want to do this for all responses. Also,
    you need to make sure that the language you use in response to your customer
    is delivering the message set out by your organisation.
  • Based on how much feedback you receive, you will have to decide how much time
    it is going to take you to respond.
  • You may think about using Trip Advisor, Facebook or Twitter (or other social
    media tools) to keep in touch with your customers.
  • A 5 day response may be unrealistic and you may have to delegate
    the task to someone else or work as a team.
  • You may also have some blue sky thinking about how you can encourage more
    feedback from your customers, which may kick start more mini-projects (just go
    back to the start of the SMART + tool and start with your fresh objective)
  • You may now decide that you want to design an effective customer response
    (ECR) for your department or organisation.

I am happy for you to get in touch with me either by email or by commenting on this post. Let me know if you use the tool or if you need help delivering an objective, I am happy to help!

Feel free to download and use my SMART
+ Delegation Tool
which I use to delegate tasks to those in my team.

I hope that you find this useful!

Thanks for reading,


My Bucket List

As part of putting together my objectives for next year I decided to finally write my first ‘bucket list’. Inspired by Steve Scott – 5 steps for creating your perfect bucket list.

As Steve mentions…after writing this I realised that it’s all really about me…but I guess that’s what it’s all about! However, I do care about everyone
around me and if I am happy then that should reflect in my relationships with other people too :o)

It is worth while doing a bucket list, I now I have a clear, black and white list of all the things that I think are important. Now every time I do something or make a decision I can compare it to this list and see how it helps me to work towards my dreams, goals and desires.

The next step is to figure out how I am going to achieve all of these things and I will talk about SMART objectives in a future post!

What do I want to be?

  1. My own boss
    1. Work on my own terms
    2. Have my own business
  2. Trustworthy, honest, dependable, kind, approachable, loving & caring
  3. A great leader and manager
  4. A person that people can contact as a resource of management information
  5. A honours graduate
  6. A great guitar player

What do I want to have?

  1. A really good management blog
  2. My own business
  3. An honours degree
  4. An MBA
  5. A Jeff Loomis Signature Schecter Guitar
  6. A Golf GTI
  7. A family, a wife
  8. A nice home
  9. Enough money to not have to worry about it! (if there is such a thing!)
    1. Earned through my own business
  10. I want to get a cat!

What do I want to do?

  1. Visit my gr andparents more often
    • More often than once a year!
  2. Release a record with my b and
  3. Play more guitar
  4. Get my blog off the ground and gather interest
  5. Progress my career as a manager
  6. Get married and have a family
    • I want my parents to see their gr andchild
  7. Snowboard more
  8. Keep reading books
  9. Attend an NLP course
  10. Start my own business

Where do I want to go?

Not something I dwell too much on, I’m not big on travelling…although…

  1. I would love to get a small group of people together and visit all of the whisky distilleries in Scotl and
  2. Visit Australia (while one of my best friend’s is out there)
  3. I’d love to visit California again
  4. I’d love to go on a world tour in my own b and

What do I want to see?

  1. My parents and gr andparents live a long and healthy life
  2. All of my favourite b ands, including
    1. Nevermore
    2. All That Remains
    3. Metallica
    4. Megadeth
    5. … and many more!

…now why don’t you write your own bucket list and post a link in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to be awesome!