Dr. Bob’s Reads: Optimal Motivation

There is so much information available to us around the topic of team member motivation. I enjoy extracting some of the aspects of books and articles that could provide value to our partners and clients. While these highlights provide us with great insight, I encourage discovering the resources I’ve drawn from in their entirety!

Below are some of my key takeaways from my latest discovery, Susan Fowler’s book Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work and What Does:


  • “The great irony of leadership is that motivating your people doesn’t work because people are already motivated. People are always motivated.  What does work is helping your people understand why they are motivated.”


  • Purpose is an important enabler of “optimal motivation.”


  • “Purpose is a deep and meaningful reason for doing something. Purpose is acting with a noble intention – when our actions are infused with social significance.”


  • Someone who is optimally motivated has the “positive energy, vitality and sense of well-being required to sustain the pursuit and achievement of meaningful goals while thriving and flourishing.”


  • “Peak performers (people who attain high levels of success and sustain it over time) are not goal driven. Peak performers are values based and inspired by a noble purpose.”  (Based on the research of Charles Garfield)


  • “Imagine people choosing to come to work because they experience a sense of positive well-being, the feeling that are contributing to something greater than themselves and the thrill of continued growth and learning.”

Purpose & Performance Group’s experience is consistent with Fowler’s and Garfield’s research findings – purpose, be it at the individual or organizational level, is foundational with regards to the ongoing health and well-being of both the employees and the organization.  Purpose, plus the employee well-being it creates, often produces the high-level of employee engagement necessary drive and sustain peak performance.

Bottom Line:

Employees and organizations flourish as they succeed by living their values and fulfilling their purpose.



Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work and What Does, by Susan Fowler

Peak Performers, by Charles Garfield

Drive, by Daniel Pink

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.