2The Rediscovery of Purpose

This chapter will help you understand the key role of purpose in today’s work. As we’ll see later, meaningful purposes are a foundation for worker engagement and self-management.

To begin, let’s take a moment to consider the nature of work itself.

What Is Work, Anyway?

I invite you to take a moment to examine your own assumptions about work. Work is made up of tasks. What words or phrases come to mind when you try to define what a task is? If that is too general of a question, then pick a specific task your work team performs and think about how you would describe it to a new team member.

I’ve learned that there are two very different ways of answering that question. The first way reflects the traditional, activity-centered ...

Get Intrinsic Motivation at Work, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.