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

Daniel H. Pink
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Jan 2010
We've been conditioned to think that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is through external rewards like money or fame, or by the fear of punishment - the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, Daniel H. Pink says in his transformative new book. The key to high performance and satisfaction is intrinsic, internal motivation: the desire to follow your own interests and understand the benefits in them for you. In Drive, Pink lays out the hard science for these surprising insights; describes how people and corporations can embrace them; offers details about how we can master them; and provides concrete examples of how intrinsic motivation works on the job, at home and in ourselves.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd (21 Jan 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1847677681
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847677686
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel H. Pink is the author of four provocative books about the changing world of work -- including the New York Times bestsellers, A WHOLE NEW MIND and DRIVE, which together have been translated into 27 languages. Described by the Financial Times as "rapidly acquiring international guru status," Pink lectures on business, innovation, and economic transformation to corporations and universities around the world. He held is last "real job" in the White House, where he served from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore.

Product Description


My favourite business book. --Thomas L Friedman, author of The World is Flat

Drive will make you rethink everything you do to motivate yourself and those around you. --Richard Wiseman, author of 59 Seconds and Quirkology

Dan Pink explores the hard-headed power of autonomy mastery and purpose to help us work smarter and liver better. --Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail and Free

Drive exposes the mismatch between what science knows and business does. --James Borg, author of Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People

Pink makes a strong, science-based case for rethinking motivation - and then provides the tools you need to transform your life.
--Dr Mehmet Oz, co-author of YOU: The Owner's Manual

About the Author

Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work, including A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, a long-running New York Times and Business Week bestseller that has been translated into 18 languages. A free agent himself, Dan held his last real job in the White House, where he served from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Daniel H. Pink attempts a Malcolm Gladwell meets the One Minute Manager (The One Minute Manager) approach to getting some well known (and less than surprising) but not universally adapted findings about motivation across to the general public.

To start off with, the main theme of the book, namely that the currently widely practiced pay for performance schemes hardly produce an improvement in the latter (and often lead to a drop in intrinsic motivation) in white collar or 'creative' environments is certainly correct and additional repetition of the message cannot harm. This is the reason I gave the book a 4 star rating, even if I find it more of a 3 star effort based on its content alone.

However Herzberg's Motivation to Work laid the main themes well enough a long time ago (and has been recognized as the classic in the field), so if you are familiar with his 'money is a hygiene factor and not a motivator' theme (so as soon as you pay people enough to take the money discussion off the table, it is best to leave it there) there will be little new for you here.

The book starts with a brief introduction on what the author calls Motivation 1.0 and 2.0, the latter being more or less in line with Taylorist management thinking.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a teacher we're always told that praise is the key to success, that's something I believe, hence reading this book. What I wanted was insight into how to motivate and praise students and staff I work with. I got all that but also insights into some of my own actions and responses to situations. A great book, well worth reading.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basic ideas that really work! 28 July 2011
"DRIVE" is a book that has been needed for a long time. It's about what motivates all of us and in particular, the misconceptions some people have, notably business leaders, about the subject. As author Daniel H. Pink points out in the introduction "I will show that much of what we believe about the subject just isn't so".

Pink does a great job of reviewing the literature and history of motivation in a way that is practical and easy to read. Above all, he explains things in a way that also makes it relevant for practising managers to implement. Pink pulls all of this together in what he describes as "Type I" behaviour - the things that really motivate us.

The book is in three parts. Part one explores the deficiencies of the reward/punishment dichotomy (after reading this, one wonders why so many organisations continue to pursue such fruitless processes as "pay for performance"). Part two introduces the three elements of "Type I" behaviour - autonomy, mastery and purpose. Part three provides some guidelines for implementing "Type I".

I really liked this book. As a keen student of motivation and one who has both managed others and trained many managers, it fits well with the philosophy I first picked up in the writings of Frederick Herzberg who popularised the "motivator/satisfier" model of motivation.

I've read some of the other reviews that suggest this book may be "basic" and "shallow". Basic it may be, and perhaps there is also some unnecessary padding. However, take it from one who has managed as few as two people to as many as 40 in three different organisations in both line and functional roles, these ideas do work in practise. And isn't that the real test?
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important ideas in a padded out book 28 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Summary: an important book that discusses an important topic. Everything is explained very well and laid out clearly. If you need to motivate people, whether that's employees, co-workers or even children, then you'll learn from this book.

Sometimes I wish Amazon would allow you to give a book half a star. Because, if I could, I'd rate this book 3.5 out of 5 rather than 3 stars.

It's a decent book that discusses an important topic - how and why people are motivated to do everything from the mundane to the marvelous.

The basic argument presented by Pink - which he bases upon proper research - is that for simple, 'boring' tasks, such as manual work, human beings respond to financial rewards. So, if you pay me 10 per hour to shovel coal, I'll work harder for you than if you only paid me 5 (all things being equal).

However, for more complex, professional managerial or 'white collar' activities, this model of pay and reward doesn't work. Indeed, it can be counter-productive and can damage motivation and productivity.

To learn why you should buy the book :)

The problem for me, is once you 'get' this main idea the book has few solid examples of how this theory has or could be applied.

Pink is a great writer. He has a talent for summarising the complex. He does this so well early on the book that I felt he had to keep repeating himself. Whilst I don't mind an argument being reinforced, this one is so obvious once you're exposed to it, that I felt the book had become padded out towards the end.

This is not to devalue the concepts presented. Absolutely not. I only wish more managers read this material and applied it. We'd all enjoy happier and more productive working lives if we did.

Although it's easy for me to be an 'armchair critic', I didn't enjoy this work from Pink as much as I'd expected.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific
Have had a lot of these thoughts on the topic of motivation but this book puts these into context and provides mechanisms to change the way we do things.
Published 2 months ago by canucksbear
5.0 out of 5 stars WHY AREN'T MORE POLICY-MAKERS (at both government & corporate levels)...
Living in a country that was bankrupted largely as a result of an all-pervasive Bonus Culture, I can only day-dream of what might have been for Ireland had our goverment... Read more
Published 3 months ago by J.F.Murphy
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves
The first half of this book is excellent, providing lots of research and thought provoking examples of why we're motivated to do some tasks which you wouldn't have thought we... Read more
Published 3 months ago by B. A. Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read..
Great book introducing some very important concepts and explains clearly how our motivation has evolved.

Time to read 'Flow ' next!
Published 3 months ago by Antony Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome read...
Awesome read already recommending!! Very well structured and illustrated.

I will def be purchasing more ... I found it very intriguing and wanted to read more...
Published 3 months ago by Tan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Very relevant and useful book which is written in a clear concise way and easy to read . Came within the time scale given.
Published 4 months ago by Marie Mostaeddi
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read for a manager
Dan Pink makes some great points in the first half of the book, pulling together some very interesting research which challenges your taught knowledge on how to reward employees. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Simon P
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, meaningful, important concepts and not just hand-waving
Pink cites numerous studies and trials as well as previous works on human psychology and interaction to cement his exposition of the fundamentals of intrinsic motivation: Autonomy,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Will
5.0 out of 5 stars great msg, well told!
Excellent book, well worth a read to alter your perspectives on how to motivate and influence! See a synopsis of the book on ted talks
Published 6 months ago by kath
4.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding read
One of those books you find difficult to put down. Insightful, and I found m self in agreement with much of the content.
Published 7 months ago by Mr. W. G. Mckinney
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