The Motivation Code Book Summary - The Motivation Code Book explained in key points
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The Motivation Code summary

Todd Henry with Ron Penner, Todd W. Hall and Joshua Miller

Discover the Hidden Forces That Drive Your Best Work

4.4 (149 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

The Motivation Code by Todd Henry explores the hidden drivers behind our motivation, helping us uncover our unique motivational profile and craft our work and personal lives accordingly. It offers practical tools for managers, leaders and individuals seeking to maximize motivation, engagement and fulfillment.

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    The Motivation Code
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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Our inner drives have a big impact on our work.

    What motivates you to excel at work isn’t always obvious. Take Frank, for example. He was an engineer known by his coworkers to be great at his job. Before long, he was given a promotion. But things began to go downhill when Frank started his new role. Suddenly, he was cutting corners and missing deadlines. On paper, Frank was perfect for the job. So, what was going wrong? The problem lay with his motivation.

    Once Frank had talked to an executive coach, he realized that he was strongly motivated by a desire to receive recognition from his coworkers, and to learn new things. In contrast, he was much less motivated to organize the work of others. The problem was that Frank’s new role required him to focus on all the things that didn’t motivate him.

    The key message in this blink is: Our inner drives have a big impact on our work.

    In our hectic world, most of us are so busy doing that we don't stop to think about why we’re doing what we do. But to understand who we really are, we need to understand what motivates us. After all, we all have unique motivations that drive our emotions and behavior.

    You might think you already know what motivates you, but most people aren’t very good at understanding their own behavior.

    That’s because many things are happening in our brains, under the surface, that influence our actions. Since we can’t comprehend these deeper reasons, we make up stories about why we behave as we do. This phenomenon is known as rationalization; rather than accepting that our behavior is irrational, we construct false, rational explanations instead.

    The good news is that you can let go of the false stories you’ve constructed by discovering your motivational code.

    Your motivational code describes the unique motivations that drive your behavior. Once you understand those, you’ll know what you’re driven by. For example, is it a need to gain recognition? Overcome challenges? Help other people?

    This unique code is unchanging. What motivated you five years ago will still motivate you in ten years. Your code is also consistent – your motivations remain constant across all situations.

    In the following blinks, we’ll take a closer look at different drives, and the broader motivational families they belong to.

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    Key ideas in The Motivation Code

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    What is The Motivation Code about?

    The Motivation Code (2020) delves into the different types of intrinsic motivation and explores why we behave the way that we do. Packed with insights into our unique desires and needs, these blinks reveal the missing piece of the personality puzzle.

    Who should read The Motivation Code?

    • Anyone seeking greater self-awareness
    • Team managers looking for fresh insights
    • Pop psychology fans

    About the Author

    Todd Henry is the founder and CEO of Accidental Creative, a consultancy firm that promotes personal development and creativity. He’s also the author of the book The Accidental Creative.

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