Autonomy: Kitchen Cabinet Installers vs. Office Workers

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Not my kitchen

I’m listening to the kitchen cabinet installers upstairs working on my new kitchen and it dawned on me that they have more autonomy than a typical cube- or open-plan dweller in an office.

As Dan Pink points out, it’s mastery, autonomy, and purpose that really motivates us. One word comes to mind when I think of the guys re-doing my kitchen: autonomy. No bosses leaning over their shoulders, no Monday morning review of last week’s metrics. They’re just left alone to get stuff done.

Sure, the boss shows up every couple of days, but that’s pretty much it.

Leaders: How much autonomy are you delivering to your team this morning? Contributors: How’d your Monday start out?

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