Leadership and Motivation

Every day, and in many ways, an entrepreneur must lead and persuade others. Understanding what motivates people, how to inspire them to do their best work, and how to lead with purpose and vision is essential for any entrepreneur.

In this series, Daniel Pink discusses the art and science of motivation, and how entrepreneurs can leverage these insights to be compelling leaders.


Using a mix of old‑fashioned reporting and interviews, along with cutting‑edge Social Science, I’m trying to unlock the secret, what does work mean to us, why do we do it, and how can we do it better in ways that fulfill us more deeply. We have certain kinds of preconceived notions about what motivates people. We all think it’s about calibrating the rewards and punishments properly. So if we dangle the right carrot or threaten people with the right stick it’s all going to work out fine. What 50 years of Social Science tells us is it’s not that easy. If you really want enduring motivation you have to do things in your company that go with the grain of human nature rather than against it.  

I’m Daniel Pink. And for the last 20 years I’ve been studying organizations and the people inside of them. In this series I want to share with you three core principles that we know lead to enduring motivation, particularly for small firms and entrepreneurial companies.  

We’re also going to talk about how to be more persuasive, how to sell a little bit more effectively, not based on tricking people, not based on folklore about sales, but based on some very, very hard‑headed evidence of how to move other people, whether they’re your existing customers, whether they’re your prospects or whether they are the people that work inside of your company.