WATCH: P-A-M Motivation

The P-A-M Motivation was popularised by Dan Pink in his excellent book Drive, so I highly recommend that book. What I’d like to do is talk about these three approaches that when they come together, really inspire and motivate people. So then you have your team highly motivated.

Motivation by Purpose

It’s becoming more important than ever to ensure that you have – and clarify – ‘Purpose’. What is the Purpose of your Organization, your business? What’s the Purpose of the team that this person is working in? What’s the Purpose of their job and what’s the Purpose of the things they’re doing day-to-day? Without Purpose, without meaning, people just go like what’s the point? Why bother? And how does that also fit into their career aspirations or where it is that they want to be? How does that fit in with their greater Purpose about what they want to achieve from their work? The more you can link clear Purpose at all those levels to the things that they’re doing, the more motivated people will be. The outcomes that they’ll actually get, the “Why.”

Motivation by Autonomy

The next piece is “Autonomy.” Autonomy is all about making sure that you get clarity of where they can make decisions. What decisions they can make and where they can make decisions in the tasks that they’re doing. Because without autonomy a lot of stress is actually produced. As human beings, if their autonomy is curtailed, they will actually get very stressed, think pessimistically, get tunnel vision and not be very creative. So, the more autonomy you can give someone, the more ownership they can have, about the decisions they can make, about the tasks they are doing, the more motivated they’ll be.

Motivation by Mastery

And finally, what you have is “Mastery.” And I love this because Mastery is all about developing skills and if people aren’t developing skills in your place, in your team, in your workplace, for your business, they’ll do it elsewhere. They’ll find something else to do outside of work and become really good at playing a particular game or doing something in their community.

So by combining Purpose, Autonomy and Mastery, you will get a very happy bunny and lots and lots of people who are really motivated and willing to work for you.


I would be interested to hear your thoughts and opinions about any of the above so drop me a line at

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With best regards,

David Klaasen 

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©David Klaasen – 2014