Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (review)

Daniel Pink’s new book Drive is a worthy successor of “A Whole New Mind.”

In A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink outlined why the need for left-brain (logical, linear) skills has largely been blown to bits. He described that right-brain (creative, empathic) thinking adds that makes it critical to today’s business success. The approach of A Whole New Mind was also reflected in the creation of the content of his book. For me, it was every effective and proved to stimulating as a person and professional (leading a large contact center operation in the Netherlands).

Now in DRIVE, Pink tackles how to motivate the creative workers (rule 1: think intrinsic empowerment, not extrinsic rewards and punishments) often belonging to the creative class. He reveals a better approach—one built more on intrinsic motivation with these three essential elements:

1. Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives
2. Mastery—the urge to get better and better at something that matters
3. Purpose—the desire to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

Again, he is aware of new developments, creates the context and let you connect. And he is able to motivate you to start changing; the biggest compliment one can give for authors – maybe even better masters – in this genre.

Daniel describes the manifesting paradox of motivation in this knowledge based, everything is connected era. Pink refers to the old world guidelines of motivation, and how monetary rewards have lost their attractiveness now we are transforming from a hierarchy to a wirearchy. Away from a “top-down” management system to the more loosely connected result driven style (workers being free to decide how to do their jobs e.g. like the ROWE-approach).

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As Pink puts it, managers, leadership and employees must realize that that the work to be done is worthwhile. In this way this workforce generation is moving to the top of Maslow’s pyramid and realize esteem and self-actualization. And yes, you as professional or as a person, trying to achieve professional of personal goals, read his book. It refers to state to the art facts about drivers of your (or your team) performance.

The core

Demolishing the myth in business that the only way to get people to perform at a high level is with carrots and sticks.

But now it is proven that’s wrong in a scientific way.

Forty years of science show us that those sorts of carrots—if …., then ….— are effective under certain limited conditions. And for members of the creative class (or the Facebook GEN) , those if-then motivators simply do not work.

His book prompts you to think and inspire you to transform your business and your career.

My rating

The first 100+ pages rate 4,5 stars.

Lots of worthy content, that inspires one, developed logically and presented simply. Readers of others book are known with the concept of the toolkit, that are presented sequentially after the text of 130 pages. A reference and a “toolkit” for applying the principles, helpful and interesting. Frankly speaking, these toolkits are for me nice to flip through but – isolated and not integrated – never get the attention they probably deserve! In this information overload society one might wonder – without compromising on content – whether compressing the context – would not benefit all involved parties.

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DRIVE is recommended reading for anyone involved in motivating people in the workplace, school or home and of course if you want to know more about your motivation to achieve business, professional or personal success.

Post written by me in december 2009 for my blog


About the book

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people—at work, at school, at home. It’s wrong. As Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, 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.

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

About the author

Daniel H. Pink is the author of six provocative books — including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, to be published in January 2018. His other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into 35 languages. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.

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