Primed to Perform – Neel Doshi, Lindsay McGregor Book Summary

Primed to Perform – Neel Doshi, Lindsay McGregor | Free Book Summary

Primed to Perform – Neel Doshi, Lindsay McGregor

Why do your people come to work every day? If they come to work because their organization inspires the direct motives of play, purpose, and potential, they are likely performing at their best. If the culture is dominated by indirect motives—emotional pressure, economic pressure, or inertia—their performance is likely to be much worse.

Why People Perform An Activity

Direct motives ( they drive performance)

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  • Play: It occurs when you’re engaging in an activity simply because you enjoy doing it.
  • Purpose: you do an activity because you value the outcome of the activity
  • Potential: You do the work because it will eventually lead to something you believe is important.
  • Indirect motives (frequently harm performance)
  • Emotional pressure: emotions such as disappointment, guilt or shame compel you to perform an activity
  • Economic pressure: you do an activity solely to win a reward or avoid punishment.
  • Inertia: You do what you do because you did it yesterday.

Play: The Most Powerful Performance Enhancer

Regarding work, play is the freedom to experiment, contemplate, and continuously improve processes to achieve a larger objective.

Purpose is the second-highest motivator. People need to identify with their company’s primary objective and see how they make a difference. Potential, or a person’s belief that their role within a company supports their career goals, is also important but not as potent as play and purpose.

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Individuals may craft their jobs, building their passion and purpose into their work, but for an organization to reach its potential, those factors need to run throughout its culture.

Money: An Effective Activator

Money might be the reason we accept a new position or promotion, but after the initial action, it doesn’t motivate us to do better work.

Emotional pressure like the potential for prestigious promotions or recognition doesn’t motivate better work. Economic and emotional pressures often lead to gaming behaviors where people figure out how to get the rewards, not how to do the job better.

Inertia or just showing up every day also doesn’t motivate high performance—instead, it often produces free-riders who come just for the check.

Free-Riders And Job-Crafters

They are people who show up for the money. They increase the size of a group but don’t increase productivity. They are created when people don’t see the value of their work, their individual contributions can’t be determined, and they don’t know the other people in the group.

Job-crafters build their own purpose and meaning into their jobs, which might motivate an individual to pursue their own agenda. For an organization to thrive, there needs to be a sense that we all have the same purpose and meaning embedded in the company’s culture.

Tactical Performance Goals and Adaptive Goals

A tactical performance goal requires workers to achieve a metric the organization has set to measure performance.

An adaptive goal is asking employees to test new strategies regardless of the outcome to discover the best way to reach company objectives. By incorporating adaptive goals, workers focus on the work itself and collaborate. While working on adaptive goals, people develop a sense of purpose and community, and they see how their work is important. Adaptive goals promote citizenship; workers help others and achieve larger goals.

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