Motivation:The Power of the Right-Brain

“Who’s speaking today?” asked one of my co-workers at the conference center I worked at a few years ago.  I quipped, “Some guy named Daniel Pink.”  Little did I know that his message would intrigue me to learn as much as I have about behavioral science and its impact on motivation.

Because it was April 1st the attendance was abyssal but his topic was extraordinary.  His book A Whole New Mind was a New York Times Best Seller and the former speech writer for Al Gore was making the circuit touting a message – in his words “making a case” for doing business and life in a whole new way.

Since most of my schooling concentrated on “left-brain” thinking and learning his challenge was refreshing.  “Today, the defining skills of the previous era – the ‘left brain’ capabilities that powered the Information Age – are necessary but no longer sufficient. And the capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous-the ‘right brain’ qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness and meaning-increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders.”  This wasn’t a feeling.  He wasn’t expressing a philosophy. He was backing up his findings with empirical data that rocked the very core of what I had been taught.

Mind you, I knew in my gut (I’m a “N” – Intuitive – on the Myers-Briggs) that the skill set labeled as “soft” mattered.  But now there was evidence.  Those who poked fun at me with disdain, “That’s touchy-feely crap!” would have to listen.  Could it be true that EQ (Emotional Quotient) matters as much as IQ?

For my own study I put together a MindMap Summary of A Whole New Mind.

I’m grateful Pink’s message continues to pick up steam. He has just published a new book with more evidence to support his case – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  I spent two days last week at Barnes and Noble ferociously taking notes. No doubt I will be sharing some things.  For now, watch this clip from his talk at TED.

And…let me know what you think.

This entry was posted in Choose to Learn, Motivation, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Motivation:The Power of the Right-Brain

  1. Pete Emhoff says:

    I really like that guy Mark. For me the idea of “contingent motivators” is intriguing as it is applied to faith. You keep the rules, say the right words, involve yourself in the right activities and you will be blessed or rewarded. Over and over I meet with men who have applied that principle to their spiritual lives and find themselves looking good on the outside but dead on the inside. We are so conditioned to believe that everything will work out to our favor if reward is applied…maybe it is time to break out of the mold.

  2. Wallace says:

    Hey! How about that! I just watched the video he posted on Youtube a month ago or so!

  3. Mark says:

    @Pete – How true when it comes to faith issues. Pink refers to external rewards as “if…then” motivators. In your application that would be “If I do this…then God will be pleased, happy, et cetera.” You have hundreds of stories of men who have failed, and failed miserably, with this carrot and stick mentality. I agree. Let’s shatter the mold.

  4. Mark says:

    @Matt – Thanks for posting the YouTube clip: another creative way to get out the message.

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