In his bestseller book Drive, Daniel Pink argues our motivation is driven by three main factors:
Autonomy — the desire to be self-directed. We get motivation and joy by having control over our life.
Mastery — the desire to improve our craft. We get satisfaction by getting better at what we do.
Purpose — the desire to have a positive impact on the world. We are empowered by work that serves a higher purpose.
As managers, we should do our best to cultivate these elements into our team.
This article focuses on autonomy — and how we can foster it by defining great engineering principles.
Autonomy is defined as a condition of self-government. At work, it is the capacity to make decisions without the need or help of others.
Other than driving motivation, autonomy is crucial to make companies scale. It reduces the need for communication, so people are able to do more work.
In my experience, there are three core elements that enable autonomy, both for teams and individuals:
🎯 Goals — people should know what they have to achieve
📚 Skills — people should have the skills to achieve it
⭐ Principles — people should know how to make decisions
Together they make autonomy possible, and provide the alignment that ultimately makes autonomy effective.
Autonomy + Alignment = Trust
Let’s see all these three elements, with a focus on principles 👇
Hey 👋 this is Luca! Welcome to a 🔒 weekly edition 🔒 of Refactoring.
Every week I write advice on how to become a better engineering leader, backed by my own experience, research and case studies.
You can learn more about Refactoring here.
To receive all the full articles and support Refactoring, consider subscribing 👇