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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Paperback – April 5, 2011
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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 in Drive. 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.
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The one thing I thought was particularly interesting was the idea that rewarding performance in an "if-then" way ("if you do X, I'll give you Y") can actually DECREASE long-term productivity. As a software developer, I've seen this play out in real life, so it was fun to see someone formally write about this phenomenon.
Reading this book was not a waste of time. Was it a "game changer?" No.
It was a quick read, so if the topic sounds interesting to you, give it a go!
We are driven to be free (autonomous) to choose our own destiney and pursue life, liberty, and happiness. We know autonomy, especially at work, is not always present and often a precious commodity. Gaining it is a huge incentive and managers should seldom give away autonomy for nothing. Instead, managers should use the lure of autonomy to create more intrinsic motivation.
But we also know we can't be free unless we gain mastery of our own circumstances. We want to be in control and become adept and competent in things that matter to us. Freedom is not free. It requires control over one's destiney and that requires mastery over the challenges and externalities that face us. Managers should use the lure of higher degree of mastery of skills to motivate people. It is important the challenge is not too difficult for the person involved, but just enough so the person will face difficulty and yet can overcome with sufficiently higher mastery of the skillset required.
Finally, we are motivated by higher purpose other than mere self-interests. We want our lives to mean something better than everyday mundane matters. Managers should seek to motivate people by appealing to higher cause and ideals (Steve Jobs would often say "how would you like to change the world?").
The book is short yet powerful. I recommend it.
Overall, good insight into what drives people to be successful but take the suggestions and apply them accordingly.
The principles themselves illustrated throughout the book are motivationally enhancing, and I must say, as a proud 'google house' software development business owner, I will actually get plenty of chances to apply these principles.
A summary does not do justice. Suffice it to say that if you want any of the following this is the book to read:
A) Explore your passions that may be a hobby or dream
B) Love the work you do because it's interesting and challenging
C) Desire time to develop and implement ideas that would make exceptional your workplace or meeting needs of clients
D) Feel satisfaction in accomplishments and hungry to break out of the box (professionally and personally)
Chapter one is important background. Then read chapter Two. At that point, I defy you to put the book down. Won't happen, and you'll thank yourself for continuing.
Pink demonstrates that the keys are:
* Intrinsic Motivation (discussed the book "Flow" frequently)
* Ability to be creative in aspects of work
* Long-term thinking vs. Short-term thinking
* Not setting performance goals (setting goals means people set easier, attainable goals)
It is an easy read; the reason for not 5 stars is that the book could use more substance and more how to implement in the workplace or even in one's own life. Maybe that's the next step.