I have listened to Drive, by Daniel Pink, on CD lately. There are lots of things in the book, that reminded me what I used to believe about work and management. In "Drive," we are reminded that humans do better when they are properly motivated. Pink writes that the Industrial Revolution created a management method he calls Motivation 2.0. Further, he says that great companies need to be run on Motivation 3.0. I like to think of Motivation 2.0 as management and Motivation 3.0 as leadership. Once, I built a company, believing in what Pink writes about in Drive. It was fun to remember that.
A little history about me. I graduated with a CS degree from SIU and moved to Silicon Valley. I would have happily stayed in Carbondale, but there were no jobs and I wanted to try the big time. Often, I think of this, like an actor moving to NYC, but for geeks. For 10 years, I worked for other people and the management was clueless. I carefully watched what my managers did and cataloged their mistakes and few successes. When I started to manage people, I believed in lots of stuff, so much that I would be better off write a book than trying to tell you it all here. In overview, I believed that everyone should have a career path and the best people should get the best opportunities for new work. I also believed in telling the truth and pushing the decision making down into the organization as far a possible. After all, why hire smart people, if you aren't going to let them decide? That leadership method worked for me.
No matter what you do, when you are managing 100 or more people, you will be consumed by work. As I was being consumed by work, I was also having to deal with partners, who given the choice, preferred to manage in a strict top down management structure. AKA, they failed as managers, because they couldn't lead. You know the types, they are everywhere. I was burned out on partners for a long time and could afford to fail because of it. But, everyone in a company should feel like a partner, so it is time for me to take a deep breath and find partners again. The number one failure of start ups in Carbondale is a lack of partners, board members and advisers.
I tried to start BoundlessGallery.com in Carbondale and failed. Most of the failure is my fault and I have spent a lot of time thinking about that. I will not repeat those mistakes again. From now on, back to open books, shared ownership, or at least profit sharing, leadership, and very little management.
Motivation 3.0 works. Don't be fooled by anyone claiming that Motivation 2.0 works as well, it doesn't.
"Drive" by Pink, it is recommended on book or CD.