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Self motivation – Alessia’s story

A few weeks ago I referred to Daniel Pink’s book (Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us) to show how autonomy, mastery, and purpose greatly impact people’s motivation and how we can use these dimensions to help in an Agile transition.

Today’s post is about Alessia and her painting.

Alessia is a happy 9 year old girl. She is self motivated when it comes to painting. She always:

  • gets up on time for her Saturday morning classes;
  • is anxious to go to her classes;
  • is learning quickly and
  • does very nice work.

If you have young children, you certainly already know how difficult it is to get them to do something they don’t want to do – pick up their clothes, get up on time, hang their towel after their shower, etc. But when kids are self-motivated, things are completely different. Don’t you find?

Grown-ups aren’t much different. When people are told to do things or are assigned tasks, the quality of the work can’t be as optimal as when THEY decide to do it. Not only isn’t the quality as good but the amount of energy required to deliver the task is much higher than if the individual wanted to do it in the first place.

Granted, relying on self-motivation requires people managers to come up with ways to make the tasks interesting or fun, or they can also rely on the concept of Autonomy (or self-organized teams) which is so strongly emphasized with Agile.

Needless to say, if kids can self-organize and be self-motivated, so can grown-ups. All they need is the right environment to do so.

I am proud of my daughter 🙂

Don’t worry Giordano, daddy will write a post about you too 😉


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