Motivation Story | Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, is home to an amazing collection of giraffes, seventeen in total. During a recent tour, my daughter & I noticed most of the giraffes were outside. Our tour guide Amy showed us the giraffe’s indoor facility where a training, or enrichment environment was set up. Four of the giraffes were here, performing specific, positive tasks for the trainer, and afterward were rewarded with food. 

Here’s the interesting part - the giraffes preferred choosing to successfully perform the enrichment task for the food rather than just have the food available to them.

My thoughts turned to Dan Pink’s insightful book, Drive, and some of his key findings. He found that once people are compensated enough to begin thinking about the work they are performing rather than the money, three fundamental motivators emerge: Autonomy, mastery and purpose. 

Think about that, especially if you don’t regularly coach those who you are responsible for.

Do you regularly remind your team of their purpose, and your organization’s purpose? Do you also encourage an environment where people can make choices and regularly improve themselves?  Motivation comes from autonomy, mastery & purpose.