leaders help shape our why...

Why we work determines how well we work and leaders help shape our "whys." There are six fundamental reasons why we work—and they are not created equal: playpurpose, and potential boost performance because they are connected to the work itself and our identity. Emotional pressureeconomic pressure, and inertia, on the other hand, destroy performance because they shift our focus from the work [to other things].

The best leaders are those who calibrate systems, processes, and interpersonal interactions to maximize the first three direct motives while minimizing the latter three indirect ones.

The tomo framework enables us to organize the vast world of leadership behaviors into four fundamental types with predictably different levels of effectiveness— quid pro quo, hands-off, enthusiast, and high tomo.  

Quid Pro Quo

The quid pro quo leader typically uses indirect motivators like guilt prestige, rewards, or the sheer force of habit to compel performance.  Before throwing stones, know that this style of leadership is not mutually exclusive with good intentions. Think about the motivator you used the last time you compelled a love one to do a chore.  

Hands Off

A hands-off leader may (with equally good intentions) try to get out of the way of his or her team members, but this style of leadership rarely creates a big impact on tomo. In fact, the average is an additional 11 points.  


The enthusiast leader will try any trend under the sun to help their people. Unfortunately, not all interventions are born equal so those that rely on external motivators dampen the performance-enhancing effects of the high tomo ones.

High tomo

The high tomo leader can create a 38 point boost in motivation by helping their teammates enjoy their work, understand its value to both the customer and their future, and minimizing external pressure.