What’s Driving You?

Motivation is a tricky thing. It’s defined as the reason, or motive, to take action. As it relates to sales most people mistakenly feel salespeople are motivated, first and foremost, by money. Not true. The ones who are typically aren’t top producers and don’t usually last very long in the profession.

Sciences tells us there are six primary motivators and for each of them there is a spectrum or degree to which we value that motivator. The ends of the spectrum for each of these motivators is called a Driving Force. When those things we value the most are present, we are inclined or driven to take action. If they are absent, we feel far less inclined to take any action. If you’ve ever had a job or task you were physically and mentally capable of doing but found unrewarding or difficult to engage in it is likely because the job, task or assignment didn’t speak to any of your Driving Forces.  For me it was learning accounting in college. I was more than mentally and physically capable of learning accounting, but I struggled to pay attention during lectures, or do the homework, because it didn’t appeal to any of my driving forces. We are driven to act when the things that we value the most are present.

Six Motivators and Twelve Driving Forces

The first motivator is Knowledge. This is how we value the acquisition of knowledge and information – specifically how a person values knowledge, learning and discovery. On one end of the spectrum is the Instinctive person who wants only the knowledge necessary to accomplish the task at hand. On the other end of the continuum the Intellectual person who wants all available knowledge on the subject, simply to understand it, regardless of the direct application. In other words, both ends of the spectrum value knowledge they just value it in different ways. It’s important to note this has nothing to do with a person’s intellect or intelligence.

The next motivator is Utility. This is how a person values practicality, usefulness, and gaining a return on all investments of time, talent, and resources.  On one end of the continuum are people who are Selfless—they are more concerned with the completion of the task for the sake of completion not for what they will get in return. On the other end are people who are Resourceful and are passionate about getting a return on investment of time, talent, and resources.

The third motivator is called Surroundings also known as the Aesthetic. This is how we value the beauty and form in our surroundings and how that impacts and influences our experience. On one end of the spectrum is the Objective person who focuses on the tangible and functional components of their surroundings – preferring function over form. On the other end is the Harmonious person who has a subjective focus on the experience and the totality of their surroundings – often preferring form over function and seeking to beautify and harmonize the world around them.

The fourth motivator is the Social or Others motivator continuum – more specifically how a person values giving, being of service, and helping others.  On one end is the Intentional person will assist others if they see a connection to something important to them. On the other end is the Altruistic person who has a focus on others and the benefits they can provide them. Please note one is not better or worse than the other, we all value others in different ways.

The fifth motivator is Power – or how a person values individuality, status, renown, and personal influence.  On one end are people who are Collaborative and will focus on dispersing power through teamwork and supporting a leader/cause without the need for personal recognition. On the other end are people who are driven by, and focus on, control, personal gain, and recognition. Every organization needs people on both ends of the spectrum.

The sixth and final motivator is Methodologies – that is locating meaningful and defined systems that align with their personal beliefs. On one end are Receptive people who are driven by a desire for new ways to accomplish the task at hand. On the other end are people who are Structured and focus on proven methods and tried-and-true approaches.

If you would like to know what your top four Driving Forces you are can go to this link and take a brief survey to see what they are and to what degree. Understanding what drives you to action, and how to leverage this information is the key to personal and professional success.