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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Audible – Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people--at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink explains in his new and paradigm-shattering book, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today's world 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 our lives. He demonstrates that while the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it's precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today's challenges. In Drive, he reveals the three elements of true motivation:

  • Autonomy - the desire to direct our own lives
  • Mastery - the urge to get better and better at something that matters
  • Purpose- the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves
  • Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.

    Drive is bursting with big ideas-- the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.

    ©2009 Daniel H. Pink; (P)2009 Penguin

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    4,148 of 4,346 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on 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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    194 of 224 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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    377 of 442 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 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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