SCARF - Hot Buttons for Motivation

By David Carnes | March 2014

I recently attended my third Digital Mastermind Group meet-up in Orlando, Florida. The DMG is an invite only collective of digital agency owners from around the country. We meet in a bar camp style format and exchange war stories and best practices.

As part of the meet-up we are asked to prepare brief presentations about a topic that we've found useful in our business. I proposed doing a brief presentation on "SCARF"- an acronym that will help you to remember the five hardwired, psychological hot-buttons we all share.

The SCARF model is taken from David Rock's research and is discussed in his great book, Your Brain at Work. I highly recommend this book for anyone who owns (or is owned by) a brain. After reading this the first time, I went out and bought twenty copies. I gave a copy to every one of my employees and ask that they read it ASAP. This is the only business book I've ever read that has compelled me to do this.

We are professional knowledge workers, how well we use our brains directly impacts our jobs. Skilled professional athletes know how their muscles work and how to care for their bodies. As knowledge workers, we need to apply the same rigor and discipline for understanding how to use our mental muscles, our brains.

I thought I'd post a video of me testing out my five minute DMG presentation the night before I gave it. It's a little dark and you'll have to turn up your speakers, but David Rock's ideas are great and worth the five minutes.