Autonomy – Mastery – Purpose


If you haven’t seen this animation that made/is making the rounds  around the interwebs   RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us  and if you want something to think about it’s worth the 10 min of your time. Dan Pink from the RSA  ( Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)   gives a speech, and they have turned it into a very clever animation  about what motivates or drives us. The talk was aimed at more company’s, and employers – and basically that treating  people like donkeys by waving carrots in  front of their face is not how your going  to get results and good performance.

Note that this isn’t about fun,  it’s about engaging people the right way  for better results.

I am going to throw the idea out there – that  the people who participate. ( Not troll.  Participate)  in the / a community by contributing things on forums, blogs, boss guides, even if it’s a small community like your guilds,   that they are better players than the people who don’t. They have more understanding of the game,  do more, have better opportunities,  keep more up to date with whats going on, know where the best information sources are also more importantly share what they know and most  do it for free.

This is all relates back to  Autonomy – Mastery – and Purpose.

What does a video about motivation have to do with wow?  If you are reading this, then you already think things about the game beyond the screen in front or you.  Your already on the path of Mastery and a lot of you show that you have purpose too,  by your contributions.

As per the speech. Most bonus scheme philosophies,  in any business or activity is to reward  the top performers.  If you do better than anyone else you get paid or rewarded, but the study where students from MIT and replicated in rural india  participated in tasks found that  “Higher incentives led to worse performance” the moment the task stopped being simple.

Do you think paying a guild to play will make them perform better?

Wonder why things like guild supplied Enchants, Gems, Food and Flasks  – performance or kill bonuses,  effectively paying them to raid, won’t make your guild perform better? 

Good players already have sourced the things that will make them perform better.   To get a guild to perform better, Based on the idea of Autonomy – Mastery – and Purpose,  it could just be as simple as getting the guild involved more in the discussion of the raid,  where everyone feels important, and that they are contributing to the greater plan  – and are not just another dps, or heals, that they have voices and those voices matter.

Autonomy, Master and Purpose are

Autonomy –  the ability to self direct our own lives

Mastery – Getting better at what we do

Purpose  - making the world a better place, and feeling like you are making a contribution.

When I was working on Yogg I had a special dispel spec for that purpose.   I was doing most of the cleansing, and I was running out of mana, so I approached my Class leader,  told him my problem , and that I wanted to try this spec so I could do my job better.  He said fine,  and the results spoke for themeselves.

I was allowed the Autonomy to solve a problem, proved I could master it,  and then felt purposeful because I could see that I was being useful and helping contributing.

The Workforce wants engagement because engagement means better results, and you can apply this to a guild setting as well.

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3 Responses to “Autonomy – Mastery – Purpose”


  1. 1 Klepsacovic December 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Interesting ideas there. I’ll have to remember that.

  2. 2 Shiva December 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Very interesting post. All I have to say is, recognizing autonomy is also an important part of leadership. Good leaders know when to allow their subordinates to be autonomous and to not stifle innovation.

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