I was running a workshop for CEOs here in Singapore a year ago, and someone who had just revealed that he had a very high score on the Birkman “Area of Interest” called “Outdoor” was explaining why this hadn’t surprised him at all. “I have just extended my National Service obligation,” he announced, to the astonishment of most of the other men in the room. (Who extends their NS obligation???) Being highly motivated by… well, by being outdoors, having to spend a few weeks a year being an officer on jungle manoeuvres was something to look forward in his otherwise corporate life-style.

So later that week when doing another similar workshop and finding a young-ish Singaporean executive who had pulled a maximum 99 score on “Outdoor”, I got clever: “Bet you must have loved your National Service,” I suggested.

“I hated every minute of it,” he said, rather deflating my balloon and forcing some quick thinking.

“Umm, okay – why was that?”

“I spent the whole time working as an admin clerk in a warehouse.”

“Ahhhh!” And of course, the point is that this young guy COULD have loved his NS – if only he had ended up doing something he loved instead of something that demotivated him (and he was a single-digit score on Clerical, the relevant Birkman score for loving admin – or otherwise).

And who knows how many 90+ Clerical scores who could have revolutionized systems and admin for any number of warehouses, instead slogged out their Service in an infantry battalion or worse.

So while there is lots of important data that the Birkman Method provides for us within the hoozyu package, I have learnt over the years to start with this data, comprising 10 Motivational scores, that addresses the most basic of questions: what actually matters to you, engages you, energises you?

It is motivation that makes the world go round!