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Primed to Perform


How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation

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Primed to Perform


How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation

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Too often, great cultures feel like magic.


While most leaders believe culture is critical to success, few know how to build one, or sustain it over time. In their revolutionary book Primed to Perform, Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi show you how to do just that.

Primed to Perform explains the counterintuitive science behind legendary cultures, building on over a century of academic thinking. It explores the authors’ original research into how total motivation leads to higher performance in iconic companies, from Apple and Starbucks to Southwest Airlines.

It also introduces a simple, highly predictive measurement tool— the Total Motivation (ToMo) Factor— that enables you to measure the strength of your culture and track improvements over time.

Most importantly, Primed to Perform teaches you how to build great cultures using a systematic and sustainable approach—whether you’re part of a five-person team, a school, a nonprofit or a mega-institution. The result: higher sales, more loyal customers, and more passionate employees.

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Too often, great cultures feel like magic.


While most leaders believe culture is critical to success, few know how to build one, or sustain it over time. In their revolutionary book Primed to Perform, Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi show you how to do just that.

Primed to Perform explains the counterintuitive science behind legendary cultures, building on over a century of academic thinking. It explores the authors’ original research into how total motivation leads to higher performance in iconic companies, from Apple and Starbucks to Southwest Airlines.

It also introduces a simple, highly predictive measurement tool— the Total Motivation (ToMo) Factor— that enables you to measure the strength of your culture and track improvements over time.

Most importantly, Primed to Perform teaches you how to build great cultures using a systematic and sustainable approach—whether you’re part of a five-person team, a school, a nonprofit or a mega-institution. The result: higher sales, more loyal customers, and more passionate employees.

Too often, great cultures feel like magic.

While most leaders believe culture is critical to success, few know how to build one, or sustain it over time. In their revolutionary book Primed to Perform, Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi show you how to do just that.

Primed to Perform explains the counterintuitive science behind legendary cultures, building on over a century of academic thinking. It explores the authors’ original research into how total motivation leads to higher performance in iconic companies, from Apple and Starbucks to Southwest Airlines.

It also introduces a simple, highly predictive measurement tool— the Total Motivation (ToMo) Factor— that enables you to measure the strength of your culture and track improvements over time.

Most importantly, Primed to Perform teaches you how to build great cultures using a systematic and sustainable approach—whether you’re part of a five-person team, a school, a nonprofit or a mega-institution. The result: higher sales, more loyal customers, and more passionate employees.

From the horse’s mouth…


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From the horse’s mouth…


From the horse’s mouth…

  • “A fresh, ambitious look at the science and practice of motivation, with big implications for leaders to fuel high-performing, high-energy cultures. Primed to Perform is an excellent companion to Drive.”

    Adam Grant

    Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take

  • “Getting organizational culture right is as difficult as it is critical. Doshi and McGregor provide numerous real-world recommendations for how to do this. They bring to bear years of hands-on experience that will prove invaluable to leaders in all sectors—corporate, non-profit, and public.”

    Joel Klein

    CEO, Amplify; former Chancellor of NYC public schools.

  • "Doshi and McGregor take us on a grand tour of the science of culture, filled with awe-inspiring experiments and surprising, real-life case studies. Smart, deeply researched, and incredibly practical, leaders will turn to this book again and again whether they’re building an organization from scratch or transforming an established company."

    Shawn Achor

    Happiness researcher and New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage

  • "This book is loaded with fascinating, thought-provoking and actionable advice that could transform a workplace from drudgery to real engagement. Take notes."

    Patrick Lencioni

    President, The Table Group; Author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage

  • Primed to Perform doesn’t just provide tactics for motivating a few superstars; it offers a proven system for motivating an entire workforce. If you want to get your team off yesteryear’s career ladders and onto new learning curves – stretching, growing and contributing at their best – read this book."

    Liz Wiseman

    President, The Wiseman Group; bestselling author of Multipliers and Rookie Smarts

  • "A truly revolutionary book, Primed to Perform shares the very important link between a company’s culture and their performance. Eye-opening and addicting, this book is on the path of kickstarting the culture movement!”

    Tom Doctoroff

    CEO Asia Pacific, J. Walter Thompson; Author of Twitter is not a Strategy

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Book Order


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Join the movement of people building high performing cultures

Measure the strength of your culture


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Measure the strength of your culture


Primed to Perform will teach you how to build high performing cultures


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Primed to Perform will teach you how to build high performing cultures


01. What is performance at its best?

There are two types of performance, both important yet mutually opposed. Most organizations manage tactical performance—the ability to execute the plan. We've all seen performance dashboards and rubrics tracking easy-to-measure outcomes. But adaptive performance—the ability to diverge from a plan—is just as important but much harder to understand and measure, until now.

Organizations must balance tactical with adaptive performance to reach the highest levels of customer experience, innovation, ethics and sales.

 

02. What is the psychology of high performance?

To build a high performing culture you must first understand what drives peak performance in individuals. The answer sounds deceptively simple: why you work determines how well you work.

There are six basic reasons why people work—and they aren't created equal. Play, purpose, and potential strengthen adaptive performance while emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia weaken it. In environments that maximize the first three and minimize the last three, individuals exhibit those hard-to-measure but highly coveted adaptive traits of creativity, problem-solving, persistence and collaboration. This phenomenon is what we call total motivation, or ToMo for short.

03. How does culture drive that psychology?

The highest performing cultures build upon the psychology of total motivation. They train leaders, design jobs, shape performance management systems, and structure their teams to enhance play, purpose, and potential and eliminate emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia. The result: higher sales, more loyal customers, and more passionate employees.

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About the authors


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About the authors


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lindsay is the CEO and co-founder of Vega Factor and co-author of bestselling book, Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation. Previously, Lindsay led projects at McKinsey & Company, working with large Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, universities and school systems. She received her B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard. In her spare time, she loves investigating and sharing great stories.

Neel is the co-founder of Vega Factor and co-author of bestselling book, Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation. Previously, Neel was a partner at McKinsey & Company, CTO and founding member of an award-winning tech startup, and employee of several mega-institutions. He studied engineering at MIT and received his MBA from Wharton. In his spare time, he's an avid yet mediocre woodworker and photographer.