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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us [Paperback]

Daniel H. Pink
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 5 2011
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.

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us + Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action + Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t
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Review

Praise for A Whole New Mind: 'My favourite business book.' Thomas L Friedman, author of The World Is Flat --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Daniel H. Pink is the author of five books, including To Sell Is Human and the long-running New York Times bestsellers A Whole New Mind and Drive. His books have been translated into thirty-three languages and have sold more than a million copies in the United States alone. Pink lives with his family in Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Having heard an interview on CBC Radio, I was intrigued by Daniel Pink's comments. Hearing the full interview on podcast, I was motivated to explore the book.

Motivation in the workplace is something that one may perceive as a manager's or supervisor's responsibility. Drive provides the insight for one to understand that perhaps some of the best motivation we have comes from within, intrinsic (Type I) rather than extrinsic (Type X). To lead a younger workforce, with different priorities than our parents, companies must embrace the concepts presented by Pink and forget that the carrot and stick approach will solve all woes.

The book is the right length to introduce the subject of motivation and provides a great list of further readings and references. Well worth reading from a business leader AND a worker.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die." -- Genesis 33:13

Dan Pink has done his usual fine work in Drive by:

1. Identifying the relevant scientific research
2. Turning the findings into brief, reader-friendly material
3. Simplifying the key points into a few principles to remember
4. Comparing and contrasting those points with what prevailing practices are in larger organizations

If you are already familiar with the literature of creative motivation, you won't find anything new here. If you don't read that literature, Mr. Pink will take you to where you should want to go with a minimum of time and effort on your part.

The key point is that people respond to more than money in getting their work done. And the more you need someone to use all their resources, the more money becomes a hurdle to success rather than an aid . . . by narrowing focus too much.

Here's a personal example that I remember well that shows the same point. As a poverty-stricken undergraduate, I never saw a psychology experiment that I didn't want to participate in . . . as long as it paid. One such experiment involved memorizing some nonsense material over a series of sessions. I could usually do it relatively quickly. One night my girl friend was in a big rush to go out, but I needed to get paid by the experimenters before I could afford to take her out. I decided I would try much harder than usual so I could get done faster and be on my way with the money. Wrong! I thought I was never going to finish that experiment. The harder I tried, the worse I did. The experimenter was obviously astonished by all the trouble I was having. I'm sure I messed up that set of results for some graduate student.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of Motivation 3.0 and Type I behavior Feb. 16 2010
By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I have read and reviewed all of Dan Pink's previous books and think that this is his most important, his most valuable thus far. As the subtitle correctly indicates, he focuses on "the surprising truth about what motivates us." The revelations he shares were generated by a five-year research project that involved thousands of test groups and individuals as well as dozens of research associates whom Pink duly acknowledges with obvious admiration as well as appreciation. "This is a book about motivation. I will show that much of what we believe about the subject just isn't so - and that the insights that [Harry] Harlow and [Edward] Deci began uncovering a few decades ago come much closer to the truth." Pink goes on assert that most organizations (regardless of nature and extent) formulate strategies for motivation based on faulty assumptions and then, however well-executed these strategies may be, fail to achieve their objectives. These organizations continue to pursue practices (e.g., shirt-term incentive plans and pay-for-performance schemes) "in the face of mounting evidence that such measures usually don't work and often do harm. Worse, these practices have infiltrated our schools, where we ply our future workforce with iPods, cash, and pizza coupons to `incentivize' them to learn. Something has gone wrong." Indeed, as Pink convincingly explains, something has been wrong, very wrong, for many years.

Drawing upon an abundance of research by several behavioral scientists, including Harlow and Deci, provides a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional explanation of "what motivates us," what really motivates us. He carefully organizes his material within three Parts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drive July 26 2014
Format:Paperback
I don't get the hype - this isn't anything like the movie. The Ryan Gosling character wasn't in this at all, and the car was barely mentioned.

Though I've become a lot more productive at the office since I read this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roadmap to Success April 7 2013
By Ian Robertson TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Drive is a thoughtful, thought provoking, and engaging book that will be of interest to everyone. It combines the best features of a book challenging the status quo: an academic foundation free of intimidating buzzwords; clear writing; logical structure; and a message that is concise, entertaining, and educational.

The book is divided into three parts: a challenge to the commonly held notion and practice that we are motivated by a carrot and stick approach; an explanation of the three forces which really do drive us (autonomy, mastery and purpose); and a "toolkit" offering a broad range of practical advice. The summary concluding the three sections is very clever and effective.

Mr. Pink starts by explaining that three forces drive our behaviour: biological (e.g. hunger); rewards and punishments; and a third force well known to science but not to business or the public, called "intrinsic motivation." Historically, once our biological needs were satisfied, we organised our work lives for structural efficiency, employing carrot and stick incentives.

The fundamental problem with the current incentive system is that, although it can be effective for routine or repetitive activities such as Henry Ford's assembly lines, it is not well suited to more complex jobs. Because our tasks are more complex - no longer are we trying to increase the number of rivets per hour in a car door - carrot and stick approaches can distort outcomes, lead to unethical behaviour, or foster short term thinking, as we have recently seen in the financial sector. Worse, they do little to address the inherent satisfaction we feel from a job well done.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I needed it for class. Very interesting book, easy to read, and straightforward. The shipping was quick.
Published 14 days ago by Christine White
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exceptionnal book, incredibly well writen and documented. Inspiring!
Published 1 month ago by CARLIER CLAIRE ISABELLE
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book. Definitely worth while
Fantastic book. Definitely worth while!
Published 1 month ago by Jason Balgopal
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
I read this book after hearing about it from a teacher I respect. It makes me think about how to provide more autonomy in the classroom
Published 2 months ago by Wendy Lovett
5.0 out of 5 stars So that's why we do what we do!
Very thought provoking and eye opening! I highly recommend it! I lent it to a friend and had to pry it back from her.
Published 4 months ago by Suzanne
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Listened to the audio book. Insightful and easily summarized into 3 points making it's message easy to remember for future implementation. Read more
Published 7 months ago by kris canadic
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific book. a must read for teachers, parents and leaders
The author provides great data on what motivates and makes some compelling arguments as to why the conventional carrots and stick approach is harmful in a knowledge economy
Published 8 months ago by Nicole St-Amour
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should Read
Once again Daniel Pink has captured my attention with his book. he really makes you think and see things from a different perspective.
Published 9 months ago by sarah gayer
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Book on What Motivates People
Compelling ideas clearly communicated. I really enjoyed the unique perspective and research on what motivates people. Read more
Published 11 months ago by PBNS
5.0 out of 5 stars great tool
this book is an easy to read toolkit for a more rewarding way of "productive life". the author has many other books that are within the same level of ease and usefulness
Published 13 months ago by rabi shoukair
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