Why is it that entrepreneurship, a path with a high rate of failure that guarantees little in the way of money or fame, attracts so many talented, ambitious individuals? Perhaps it has something to do with what Daniel H. Pink posits in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us--that the joy of performing an engaging task can be its own reward.
"Satisfaction depends not merely on having goals, but on having the right goals," Pink writes, noting that the most successful companies "stand for something and contribute to the world." Entrepreneur spoke to chief executives at high-performing companies about motivation--how to inspire it, how to sustain it and how it leads to success. Here's what they had to say.
CEO, Patrón Spirits Company
"You have to make sure people enjoy coming to work."
President, Women Presidents' Organization
"If you hire well and people have a sense of pride in what they're doing, that's a great motivator."
Co-CEOs, Hirsch Bedner Associates
"We have a roll-up-your-sleeves meritocracy, and we dive in and do the work so everyone can see we are in the trenches."
CEO, Kind Healthy Snacks
"You can't get everybody to give the best of themselves unless you understand what drives each individual and what they care about the most."
CEO, Artist Growth
"We focus on how we understand their desire to be creative and to not be distracted from that."
"I really try to listen to what people have to say and include them in decisions."
Chief Creative Officer, David & Goliath
"Relationships require casting the right people, those who share the same mindset. Only then can you create something great."
Chief Marketing Officer, Internet Marketing Inc.
"People won't come to work motivated every day, so you have to do different things because everybody responds to different motivators."
Jennifer Wang is a staff writer at Entrepreneur magazine in Southern California.
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This article was originally published in the October 2013 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Best Motivators in Business.
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