Intrinsic motivation—doing a thing for its inherent satisfaction rather than external rewards—is the key to success and satisfaction in any endeavor. A legendary performance coach shares his simple, proven, and fun methods for cultivating and keeping it.
To be productive and optimistic about our personal and professional lives, we want to feel that we can understand and influence what is happening around us today, and that we have a reliable insight into what will happen tomorrow. We also require a rich, supportive, and secure social life. As more of us work remotely and the frequency of our in-person contact decreases, this desire for connection and trust has only become more important; the social drive is so strong that our body temperature drops when we feel excluded.
To satisfy our psychological needs in today’s professional world, we must pursue them consciously and purposefully—but unfortunately, most of us don't know how to do so effectively. Instead, we waste our time on ineffective coping strategies that often make us feel even worse. The true solution to becoming happier, healthier, and more productive is to become intrinsically motivated: To stop wasting time on activities that don’t really contribute to our careers or our company’s success, eschew the dog-eat-dog culture of modern business, and find ways to take pleasure in what we do—and to do it well.
Intrinsic Motivation by Stefan Falk is a comprehensive guide to achieving this goal. Filled with methods and techniques he developed at McKinsey & Company and through 25 years as a senior executive and performance coach working with elite athletes, top executives, special operators in the armed forces, and leaders from all walks of life, this book will revolutionize your approach to success at work and beyond.
"Feeling the pressure of work and life? Stefan Falk has some solutions. He’s drawn on his ample experience to pull together the very best insights, tools, and tips for managing yourself and your goals in high-pressure situations. For the price of a book, you get professional coaching at your own pace, picking and choosing the tips that work for you. What a deal!" —Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive, and To Sell is Human
"Intrinsic Motivation is a book written by someone who’s been through the tough stuff himself. This is concrete, actionable advice from a master." —Barbara Oakley, author of A Mind for Numbers and creator of Learning How To Learn
"Stefan Falk, an internationally recognized leadership and human performance expert, sets the record straight, offering thorough, step-by-step guidance on how to enjoy your work and build a fulfilling life. Unlike other books on the topic, Intrinsic Motivation dispenses with fluff and lays out a treasure trove of proven expertise to guarantee you success...By the end, you’ll have the keys to your own intrinsic motivation and a clear detailed roadmap to achieving a happier, healthier, and more productive you." —Warren Strickland, Senior Advisor and Director Emeritus, McKinsey & Company
"The future of work will require a new way of working—this book clearly describes the skills, techniques, and behaviors that will drive professional success in the next 10 years. From daily journaling to the ‘detective mindset’ to tips on managing difficult meetings, this book is full of fresh and original approaches to personal development and effectiveness. It’s going to be required reading for my kids and executive team." —George F. Colony, CEO, Forrester Research
"Fantastic news for fans of Dan Pink’s bestseller Drive! Intrinsic Motivation empowers the reader with pragmatic advice on managing their own motivation and productivity. It is grounded in the latest behavioral science but made actionable through Stefan’s extensive consulting work. It could not come at a better time!" —Ken Davis, Executive Vice President of Products and Services, Gartner Inc.
"Intrinsic Motivation is a unique book that gives you targeted, practical, actionable suggestions on what you as an individual can do to learn better, to think better, and to manage yourself better under stress...Stefan was my executive coach at McKinsey & Company, and my professional performance has measurably and significantly improved due to the tools he taught me. I am happy that he has now decided to share the same tools with you in Intrinsic Motivation." —Shweta (Shay) Natarajan, Director of Strategy, Caterpillar, Inc.
"The best leaders I have ever had the privilege to work with have always been humble and willing to learn from others; they also are willing to share their wealth of knowledge, experiences and ultimately their wisdom to better others. Stefan Falk is one of those rare leaders that has humbled himself to learn from others and thus compiled an actionable set of Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) or Tools for Life. In Intrinsic Motivation, the reader can pick and choose from this treasure chest of TTPs and better their life and ultimately those around them. The more people that read and implement this work of wisdom, the better off this world will be." —William Dewilde, USN SEAL Command Master Chief (Ret.), Vice President of Operations, The Honor Foundation
"When I read Intrinsic Motivation I was surprised by how much I liked it. I thought it was going to be another snake oil 'airport bookstore' book full of lengthy personal anecdotes provided to support stuff people already know. On the contrary, Intrinsic Motivation is a really useful book. The tools and advice are evidence-based, useful, and of high priority. It is an almost all-inclusive, practical handbook for professionals to create high performance in the high-pressure 21st century. Things I’ve taken decades to learn are covered in a concise, complete, and useful way. On top of that it is very well written, accessible, and enjoyable. I truly recommend you to read Intrinsic Motivation." —Stephen Gerras, Professor of Behavioral Sciences, the Department of Command, Leadership, and Management, U.S. Army War College
"Intrinsic Motivation is a wonderful book, as entertaining as it is useful. It is full of great insights from an author who has a broad command of all the factors that improve job performance as well as life satisfaction. This book sees well ahead into the 21st Century to anticipate high pressure work environments and guides the reader through all the indispensable skills to boost health and happiness." —John B. Arden, PhD, author of Mind-Brain Gene, Rewire Your Brain, and The Brain Bible
"When I started to work together with Stefan, many years ago, the content of this book was already there. Though not yet written down, the thought-provoking observations as well as the hands-on actionable guidance of Intrinsic Motivation were a part of everything Stefan did and at the heart of the coaching he provided me. If you believe that your well-being and success in personal and professional life is the responsibility of others, don’t read this book. You’ll be disappointed. But if you believe that 'it starts with me,' then this book can be your guide and manual." —Per Ericson, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Husqvarna Group
"Intrinsic Motivation is an exceptionally well written book, grounded in science yet tempered with pragmatism. Stefan Falk draws upon years of experience guiding leading corporations to success as an executive, and now as an executive coach...Unlike many other books, his step-by-step approaches are designed to remedy the causes of reduced productivity, not simply the self-destructive emotions that often are a consequence. Improving critical thinking skills, transforming the daily barrage of emails from an impediment to a useful tool, and preventing conflict are each addressed in succinct and easy to apply strategies. Despite being written from the perspective of a corporate leader, the advice is equally applicable in any setting where effective leadership is sought; an academic institution, service organization, or even the family unit." —Nicholas Hall, professor and internationally recognized psychoneuroimmunologist at the University of South Florida
"Intrinsic Motivation is not just another management book—it is a truly important book! Even if it mainly addresses tips and approaches on how to become more effective in work, it is applicable to all aspects of life...Having known and worked with Stefan for the last 25 years, I have gotten to know him as a truly remarkable thinker and practitioner. It is deeply satisfying to see how much of his wisdom he has been able to fit into 200 enjoyable pages. If more people would apply just a fraction of his practices, the world will become a nicer, happier and more productive place." —Johan Saarm, Senior Partner, Egon Zehnder
"Artificial Intelligence and the health of both humans and our planet are all forces that will likely only accelerate the degree of change in the way the world works. Our ability to continuously adapt, develop and grow as individuals will thus be even more relevant, today and for the next two decades. In parallel, there is a convergence of research around mental performance, mental and physical health, sleep and nutrition that is revealing more and more insights around how our brains actually work and how we can train them to both feel better and achieve more at the same time. This book helps you reconcile these two realities of modern life and helps you to master your own personal development, through practical coaching tips, so that you are better equipped for a world that is more challenging but also more interesting for every day that passes." —Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, Chief Product Officer, MGM Resorts
" Intrinsic Motivation is probably one of the first books that speaks about the link between continuous happiness and extraordinary success: To always bring the best and most genuine version of yourself to everything you do. The best version of yourself will always be a version of you where your own selfish needs and fears are non-existent...In Intrinsic Motivation you will find a good mix of proven tools and principles to always bring the best version of yourself to everything you do." —Axel Karlsson, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, Inc.
"My first thought after reading Intrinsic Motivation was 'this is genius!' It offers a unique wealth of experiences and evidence-based truths that are only known to those who have actually achieved both happiness and professional success simultaneously. For those of us still toiling and aspiring to such greatness, Intrinsic Motivation is the veritable roadmap to that goal. Stefan Falk truly masters the ability to distill a wealth of knowledge into easily applicable tools. Each chapter is a bite-sized nugget of inspiration and actionable advice that is both easy and enjoyable to read. Whoever you are—a professional, an elite athlete, or a transitioning military veteran—I urge you to read this book." —Lt. Col Ted Handler, USMC Raider (Ret.), Head of Business Excellence, Stihl, Inc.
"Intrinsic Motivation is a goldmine for understanding ourselves and improving our lives. The book was a page turner for me and now serves as a handbook. Nobody masters the hacking of human potential like Stefan does. For more than two decades, he has dug himself deeper into more significant sciences than most and built his techniques together with the thousands of outstanding individuals, who are or have been his clients. The width of the book is also impressive, ranging from mindsets to emotional regulation, applied logic, and behavioral habits. It's profoundly insightful and provokingly practical at the same time, giving you no excuse for not becoming more productive!" —Nicolai Tillisch, Executive Coach, Member of Cultivating Leadership, and co-author of Return on Ambition
"Stefan Falk possesses the unique insight that comes from being a mentor to hundreds of executives across dozens of industries, the military and government. Critically, he displays the rare capacity to boil down the learnings from thousands of coaching sessions, blend it with his own knowledge of cognitive functioning and distill it into clear, actionable truths. Get your hands on a copy of Intrinsic Motivation and soak up the shortcuts to efficiency and effectiveness that every leader seeks. It’s almost cheating." —Simon Mitchell, VP Operations, InRock, Inc.
"Advice is everywhere for what organizations can do better to improve employee experience and business results. But there is precious little guidance for what each of us can do to improve our own performance in our work, every single day. With this book, Stefan Falk offers a powerful look at what excellence feels like from the inside. And it’s full of practical advice that’s easy to apply. Want to become a sought-after coworker or boss? It’s in this book." —Dave Johnson, Principal Analyst, Employee Experience, Forrester Research
"In his new book Intrinsic Motivation, Stefan Falk has managed to address many of the important concepts that have guided my professional life...He also provides practical, tangible and manageable tactics for making these concepts actionable in all of our lives. Falk has done the hard work of drawing together a wide range of research and information, and crafting it into an understandable guidebook for successful living. We owe him a great debt for doing so." —John Madigan, President & CEO, Executive Talent Services, LLC