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 (168 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
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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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.

    The Motivation Code Review

    The Motivation Code (2020) delves into the complexities of motivation and reveals how understanding our unique motivating forces can enhance our productivity and satisfaction in work and life. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its practical framework and insightful assessments, it guides readers in uncovering their individual motivations and leveraging them effectively.
    • The book combines expert research, case studies, and personal stories, creating a compelling narrative that keeps readers engaged and invested.
    • Through its compelling exploration of the different types of motivation, the book provides a fresh perspective on what drives human behavior, making it anything but boring.

    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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    The Motivation Code FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Motivation Code?

    The Motivation Code reveals the key to unlocking our unique motivations and helps us understand what drives us to succeed.

    How long does it take to read The Motivation Code?

    The reading time for The Motivation Code varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Motivation Code a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Motivation Code is worth reading as it provides valuable insights into our motivations and offers practical strategies to thrive.

    Who is the author of The Motivation Code?

    The Motivation Code was written by Todd Henry, Ron Penner, Todd W. Hall, and Joshua Miller.

    What to read after The Motivation Code?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Motivation Code, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden
    • The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
    • Friday Forward by Robert Glazer
    • How to be F*cking Awesome by Dan Meredith
    • The Science of Intelligent Achievement by Isaiah Hankel
    • Return on Ambition by Nicolai Chen Nielsen and Nicolai Tillisch
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • Get It Done by Ayelet Fishbach
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Beyond Order by Jordan B. Peterson