Discover The Secrets To An Engaged Workforce – Part II

In my last post I introduced the concept of Motivation 3.0 and explained how it is the secret to an engaged workforce. I went on to define Autonomy (one of the three main components of Motivation 3.0) and how leaders need to give their employees autonomy over their roles at work. Today, I will define the second component of Motivation 3.0, Mastery.


Mastery is defined as an individual’s desire to get continuously better at something that matters to that individual. This desire to improve in a particular area occurs when that individual experiences an activity that motivates and captivates them. Teresa Amabile said “The desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences or business.

Daniel Pink defined it this way “in flow, the relationship between what a person had to do and what he could do was perfect. The challenge wasn’t too easy. Nor was it too difficult. It was a notch or two beyond his current abilities, which stretched the body and mind in a way that made the effort in itself the most delicious reward. That balance produced a degree of focus and satisfaction that easily surpassed other, more quotidian, experiences. In flow, people lived so deeply in the moment, and felt so utterly in control, that their sense of time, place and even self, melted away. They were autonomous, of course. But even more than that, they were engaged.

According to Pink, there are three laws of Mastery that we need to be aware of;

1) Mastery is a mindset – this is a habit or mindset that needs to be developed. It requires the discovery or awareness of an area of deep interest and then the self-discipline to pursue that area.

2) Mastery is a pain – it is not easy. It takes commitment to pursue mastery. One of the readers’ comments on my last post was that determination is a big part of Motivation 3.0. This “Mastery Law” is where determination, persistence and perseverance come in.

3) Mastery is an asymptote – it is impossible to fully realize as the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know and are motivated to continue your mastery quest!

Make sure, as a leader, that you provide an example to your employees by adopting the mastery mindset, persevere on your way to mastery and continuously learn. Remember, if you’re not learning, you’re not growing, which means you’re stagnating.

Next week I’ll cover the third component of Motivation 3.0. Until then, ask yourself: “What can I adjust within my business to build a culture that allows and encourages employees to strive towards mastery?”

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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