Summary of Primed to Perform

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Consultants Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor bring together just about everything worthwhile about employee engagement, motivation and workplace performance. They offer data and evidence to support each claim and piece of advice. Their entertaining case studies inform readers throughout, illustrating the three essential “direct motivators” that every company should use to build long-term success and the three “indirect motivators” that lead to lower performance. Though this manual can be repetitive, getAbstract recommends it highly. For leaders at every level, HR professionals, compensation executives, consultants, entrepreneurs and students, this could be today’s best work about motivating performance.

About the Authors

Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor worked together at McKinsey & Company before launching Vega Factor, a consulting firm dedicated to total motivation science. Their ToMo survey is available at the primedtoperform website.



“Total Motivation”

Firms that build a culture of total motivation, fulfill a larger mission and emphasize intrinsic motivation over salary last longer and outperform their rivals. A deep cultural focus on purpose generates innovation and creativity, thus engaging both employees and customers.

Staffers respond best to the “direct motivators” of “play, purpose and potential.” When their work stimulates and sparks their creativity, you get play, the most powerful of motivators. Then, attach meaning and mission to their work to achieve purpose. Give people work that provides a path to something they want to accomplish – potential – and their performance increases. Play ignites the greatest performance boost – then purpose, then potential.

“Indirect motivators” diminish performance. “Emotional pressure” causes people to do things for the wrong reasons. If, as a child, you played piano to please a parent, emotional pressure motivated you. As an adult, you might stay in a job because it confers status. People motivated by emotional pressure do things they don’t really want to do, but they don’t do them well. The second indirect motivator, “economic pressure” includes...

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    B. V. 4 years ago
    I can totally relate to this. Nice read.
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    B. V. 4 years ago
    I can totally relate to this. :D
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    D. P. 5 years ago
    A good paper.