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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us [Kindle Edition]

Daniel H. Pink
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (668 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The New York Times bestseller that gives readers a paradigm—shattering new way to think about motivation.

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Pink's analysis--and new model--of motivation offers tremendous insight into our deepest nature."
-Publishers Weekly

From Scientific American

"Pink makes a convincing case that organizations ignore intrinsic motivation at their peril."
-Scientific American

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3,810 of 3,994 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Biased and selective presentation of important ideas January 24, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Before plunking down your credit card for a copy of Drive, by Dan Pink, consider making do with just his TED talk. The talk contains the substance of this book without the excess padding.

The book has about 250 pages. One hundred fifty or so of those are for the basic content. It includes the Introduction and Parts I and II (chapters one through six).

The other hundred pages are a "Toolkit." This includes some material that didn't seem to fit anywhere else, a glossary, a recap of Drive, twenty conversation starters (useful at cocktail parties), a reading list, and a fitness plan. That's forty percent of the book. And none of it helps you put what you've read to work.

The core points of the book are covered in the TED talk. You can listen to it in about fifteen minutes or read it in about ten. You won't get the fitness plan or the conversation starters. You will get the essence of Pink's message.

If you're a boss or concerned about leadership, you need to become familiar with that message. The ideas are important. Pink's rendering of them, for good or ill, will define and influence the discussion of motivation in business for quite a while.

He does get the big picture right. He says that people would prefer activities where they can pursue three things.

Autonomy: People want to have control over their work.

Mastery: People want to get better at what they do.

Purpose: People want to be part of something that is bigger than they are.

This matches research that I've done with class members for over twenty-five years. They discuss a time when "it was great to come to work" and then create a description of what those times are like.
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358 of 420 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as important as "A Whole New Mind" November 28, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Daniel Pink's new book follows well in the tradition of "A Whole New Mind," as he picks up on a new trend and explains it well. This time it's the apparent paradox of motivation - why do some people like Google pay their staff to regularly work on projects of their own choosing when they could be working hard on what they were hired to do?

Pink shows that there has always been monetary motivation, but that has lost its attractiveness as we've moved from the "top-down" management system to the more heuristic style (workers being free to decide how to do their jobs). He points out that repetitive jobs lend themselves more to traditional rewards, whereas money doesn't seem to motivate innovation.

I used to work for a major corporation (which we'll call "EMC," because that is their name). Pretty much everyone I met had responsibility for something, to the degree that supervisors were enablers - you went to them and told them what to do. Supervisors could (and sometimes did) give you reasons why not, but they weren't about to come into your cubicle and micromanage you. And the wider your responsibility, the harder you worked.

This system was totally unlike anything I'd come across before. Most businesses would act as though their employees couldn't be trusted. And although I was looking behind me nervously, I shone in this environment, and now I realized that's what they wanted from me.

Pink mentions Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (if that's new to you, look it up on Wikipedia), and I think he is right that now that there's a relatively well-paid group of workers, they can ask for something more than basic salary.
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167 of 195 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Winner November 30, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Daniel Pink has written a highly interesting and very informative book on the truth about what motivates us.

He uses a very interesting analogy - comparing motivation to different generations of operating software. Motivation 1.0 the basic operating system for the first few thousand years was based on the primary needs of the human - food, shelter, clothing and reproduction. Eventually we moved to Motivation 2.0 - basically the carrot and the stick - reward and punishment worked fairly well for a time.

But according to Pink and other scientists, reward and punishment no longer work in most situations. We need to move to Motivation 3.0.

Pink goes into great detain about why the carrot and stick motivation does not work. "The traditional `If then' rewards can give us less of what we want. They extinguish intrinsic motivation, diminish performance, crush creativity and crowd out good behavior. The can encourage unethical behavior, create addictions and foster short-term thinking. These are the bugs in our current operating system."

The "if then" reward/punishment system does work under very limited conditions. Pink explores these.

He then introduces the I Type and X Type behavior - named for intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Type I behavior concerns itself less with external rewards and more with doing things for the joy of doing them.

There are three elements to the I Type behavior: Autonomy - we all long to be autonomous - to have control over our lives and destiny. To the extent that we don't have autonomy we feel something missing. The second element is Mastery. We need to learn to master the tasks we are undertaking. The third element is Purpose. We need to "buy in" to why we are doing things.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Some students have enjoyed the opportunity to direct their own...
My wife is a 6th grade teacher in a public school. This book challenged her to rethink motivating students. Some students have enjoyed the opportunity to direct their own learning.
Published 18 hours ago by Tbentley
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and insightful book
Impressive and astounding research. Thanks Daniel Pink! The insight found in this book can absolutely change the business world forever.
Published 1 day ago by KC
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable, but not very deep.
The primary premise of the book is that carrots-and-sticks approach to motivation is no longer good for many modern jobs, and a better approach is needed, based on intrinsic... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Vladimir Prus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great!
Published 5 days ago by Paula Concus
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Pink's Drive
This is a fast and effective survey of some basic conclusions of behavior psychology that have become popular in the past decade. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Ryan Mease
5.0 out of 5 stars I love that scientists would develop tests to determine what motivates...
I love that scientists would develop tests to determine what motivates us, from primates to American workers, and juxtapose that with what American businesses (many billion dollar,... Read more
Published 11 days ago by TCaruthers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I am fan, enough said!
Published 11 days ago by George G. Houston
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Great book! Delivered on time.
Published 14 days ago by Lynn Manhart
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick, Reasonable Synthesis, Entertaining
Effective intro to more exhaustive works and theories. Check out the citations. Clever and useful "toolkit" summaries. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Larry P Kunz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
learn what really motivates people
Published 22 days ago by William J. Morrow
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More About the Author

Daniel H. Pink is the author of five provocative books about the changing world of work -- including the long-running New York Times bestsellers, A Whole New Mind and Drive. His books have been translated into 34 languages and have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.

Pink's latest book, To Sell is Human, is a #1 New York Times business bestseller, a #1 Wall Street Journal Business bestseller, and a #1 Washington Post nonfiction bestseller.

In 2013, Thinkers 50 named him one of the top 15 business thinkers in the world. He serves on the board of directors and advisory boards of several non-profits and startup companies.

A graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law School, Pink lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.

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