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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If an hour is all the time you devote to motivation, this is the book to go for
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...
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by AK

70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important ideas in a padded out book
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...
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by Andrew Lloyd Gordon

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought it, read it, loved it, 22 July 2010
Mr. Albert M. Hickey (UK) - See all my reviews
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I read this to get a different way to motivate people and it was a real eye opener.
The concepts presented were very clear and makde sense to me but I knew I was operating a different way.
I changed a few small things in my approach based on this book and I have definitely seen a difference in how people responded.
Worked for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves, 3 Jan 2014
B. A. Howard "bradbox" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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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 should be motivated towards.

The second half, which is the mostly practical half of what you can do about it in personal and professional areas, is slow moving, repetitive and focusses on just a few sources.

Ideally this book would keep the first half and condense the second half into 5-10 pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes its point well, and has a few inspiring moments too, 21 Oct 2011
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The florescent graphics on the cover were slightly suggestive to me that the substance of the book inside would be less impressive. Thankfully this proved to not be the case, as I found this book very interesting, well reasoned, and indeed quite inspiring in some places. Perhaps one of the nicest things about this book is that it is clear that the author has tremendous respect and passion for humanity at large. Sometimes books about how to motivate people turn out to be books about how to manipulate people, and so it is refreshing to read a volume where the author is not simply trying to push a get-what-you-want agenda. This book is not about how to motivate people so much as how to create an environment where people *are* motivated.

The book is split into three sections, the first being the background and explanatory information about the subject. Here Pink explains how in his view the old trusted model of carrot/stick is somewhat counterproductive in today's modern and creative workplaces. Instead, he proposes that a more inherent desire exists within each of us, around subject areas such as mastery and autonomy. The core idea is that the notion that people have to be forced or bribed to produce their best work is false. The examples cited are slightly American in method, which isn't surprising considering that is where Pink is based, but apply in the most part to a UK audience too.

The second part of the book presents a framework of various situations that the ideas can be applied to. This is not really a cohesive section, and each "chapter" is relatively independent from the last, however the author does explain that this is intentional. You read the chapters which are relevant to your situation, although I found reading them cover to cover equally enlightening.

The last and smallest part is a small summary of the first part's content, intended as an aide mémoire. I liked this idea a lot, as it provides a simple and concise reference guide that can be used in the future without having to thumb and search the entire book. There are also a number of suggestions for further reading, which again proves that the author's agenda is truly to improve and better our lives rather than to simply push his own product.

This is a small book, but one which packs a big punch, at least for me. I found several of its suggestions both inspiring and exciting, and I hope to implement a few of his strategies myself in the future. The writing style is relaxed and easy, neither patronising nor complex, and it was a pleasure to keep turning each page.

I would recommend this book not only as a general read to those interested in business psychology and motivation, but also to any manager who feels burnt out and that their workplace needs a bit of a motivational facelift. You won't find many glib solutions, but you will find a detailed explanation of why what you are currently doing probably isn't working.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh look at the subject of motivation in the modern business world, 10 Sep 2011
T. Salmond (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I saw Dan Pink speak at a work conference some time ago and like that talk, "Drive" offers a fresh look at the modern workplace. In this book which explores the subject of motivation, Pink takes a look at classic management thinking, providing food for thought for anyone responsible for leading teams. He draws on a range of academic research and studies to highlight the impact of widely accepted reward systems on motivation. He identifies a "new operating system" which suits the opportunities offered by modern society. Central to his argument is the fact that for some, motivation is driven by autonomy, mastery and purpose, which are explored in detail in dedicated chapters.

The book is well set out and clearly written, with a useful recap at the end, as well as pointers to a range of additional resources. After enjoying this book, I went on to buy some books covering the timeless work of Peter Drucker Essential Drucker (Classic Drucker Collection).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Books like this make Malcolm Gladwell turn Pink!, 12 Aug 2011
Allen Baird (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
Pink's 2005 book A Whole New Mind redefined the business/psychology genre of self-help-type literature. It did this, not so much by its content, as by its shape and style. Drive continues this trend, only more so.

Yes, the content of both books is first class. Pink shows incredible ability gathering together disparate strands of information - news stories, academic research, cultural trends, web materials, business speeches - and weaving them together into a convincing narrative. But the likes of Malcolm Gladwell do the same. How Pink exceeds his competitors is twofold. (1) He possess a taxonomists skill in grouping large chunks of data together in ways that seem to throws light on historical patterns. (2) He isn't interested in merely tickling our fancies; he wants us to go forth and do something with this new knowledge.

Hence, in A Whole New Mind, after explaining each of his six right-brain senses, he spends time teaching us how to grow or apply the skills discussed. And so with Drive. Only, this time, he spends the last third book on this type of material. The first third lays down the background and theory. This is where Gladwell stops, minus the coherence and classifications. The second third focuses on the main three motivations skill of autonomy, mastery and purpose. This is where Chip and Dan Heath get to on a good day. But Pink is only warming up.

Part Three of Drive consists of "The Type I Toolkit" where type I means those with internal motivation as opposed to external 'carrot and stick' motivation (type x). There are eleven subsections here, including a brilliant recap of and glossary for the whole book. There is a reading list and a guru list for further research. And there are other lists of ways to apply the book's thinking to areas are diverse but vital as individual and group motivation, paying your employees, raising your kids, and getting/keeping yourself fit.

There are plenty of blurbs and reviews that focus on the specifics of Drive's content, so I needn't regurgitate them. All I can say that as a training consultant and business book club founder, I'm familiar with literature on motivation. This is the best out there, bar none. Pink always manages to unearth material that is new, exciting and relevant. And let's not neglect that fact that Pink has good stuff to say in his own right. Less so than A Whole New Mind, you're still getting a bit of the author's own thinking in Drive, minus the navel-gazing Gladwell displayed in Outliers.

Pink mentions Gladwell on page 190. Such a first-rate writer, and so generous with it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but 'Gladwell Lite'?...., 5 Jan 2011
Steve Hearsum (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
A lovely expose of the fallacy of carrot & stick motivational tools, Drive is a must read, particularly for politicians and regulators of the financial services industry. The strength of strength of Pink's book lies in his ability to reference the academic research that clearly evidences the case he is making e.g. Harlow & Deci's seminal work in the field of human motivation.

Where the book falls down is in two areas. Firstly, whilst Pink rightly points out how ingrained 'carrot & stick' is in organisations and society at large, he doesn't really get under the skin of how to change patterns of behaviour that are that habituated (e.g. changing a lifetime of parenting advice needs more than a few suggestions in an appendix). More frustratingly, he misses an opportunity to dig deeper into what exactly went wrong, and is still goes on, in the banking industry. Yes he touches on this, but I was left feeling that this was an opportunity missed, and almost that this was a group of people he did not want to take on, and/or going this route would have dampened the up beat tone of his narrative. There is a shadow side to the territory Pink opens open, and I wanted to hear a lot more about it, in a wider sociological context.

A great book, a touch 'Gladwell-Lite" (mainly because of the last point) and none the less I highly recommend it.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is Drive the Linchpin, or is being a linchpin your Drive?, 12 Mar 2010
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Having bought the combi suggested by Amazon I first read Drive, followed by Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to Drive Your Career and Create a Remarkable Future (Seth Godin) to discover immediately it does cover the same subject as Drive.

But then in a quite different way. Obviously: because both writers are different writers with different styles, different experiences, different histories, different.... you name it and probably I'll agree with you.

* Motivation, rewards, joy, engagement, cog or artist, Type I or Type X - it's in both books.
* Both have the starting point of the turn of the century and how the economy has changed the way we need/want/should work or at least be engaged in work/how we view what work is.
* Both put their finger on the pain, both detail why and how come, both suggest the best ways for us to "adjust" - in the best meaning of the word.
* And both list plenty of examples of companies, businesses and individuals who've "turned" the tide, sometimes (most times?) against the tide. They only use different words (see, another difference).

The difference?
The main difference between Drive and Linchpin IMHO is the method (the word "style" does not really fit here) both writers use:
Dan H. Pink gives you science and tests to make his point, in a logical order
Seth Godin gives you his gut feelings in a kind of hopscotch way of writing (which I found is his "preferred" way in most of his recent books).

Which one is better? Really believe that's not of any importance, if you like a more scientific approach, go for Drive, if you like a more pondering style, go for Linchpin - or read both ;-)
One way or the other you discover the essence of it is more the way you might start behaving, might change your ways (in business and person) then discussing which book portraits this idea better.

I fully agree with the following quote from Daniel's book:
"We're born to be players, not pawns. We're meant to be autonomous individuals, not individual automatons."

More and more businesses, companies are turning away from the Carrot and Stick (Motivation 2.0) approach it seems, having discovered that this principle no longer has its place in the 21th century. More and more are turning to a different, IMHO more closer to our human instincts, principle of motivation, based on the Self-Determination Theory: supporting our natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways.

"Drive" explains 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".
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of Motivation 3.0 and Type I behavior, 16 Feb 2010
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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. In the first, he examines the flaws in reward-and-punishment system and proposes "a new way to think about motivation"; in the second, he examines the three elements of Type I behavior i.e. autonomy, mastery, and purpose) and illustrates how individuals as well as organizations "are using them to improve performance and deepen satisfaction"; and in the third Part, he provides what he characterizes as a "Type I Toolkit, a wealth of resources, to help each reader create an environment (in collaboration with others) in which Type I behavior can flourish.

Here are a few of Pink's insights that caught my eye. First, a few distinctions about what Type I behavior is...and isn't: It is made, not born; almost always outperforms Type Xs in the long run; does not disdain money or recognition; is a renewable resource; promotes greater physical and mental well-being; is self-directed; devoted to becoming better and better at something that matters; and connects the quest for excellence with a larger picture. (Pages 79-81) In stunning contrast, Type X "is fueled more by extrinsic desires than intrinsic ones. It concerns itself less with the inherent satisfaction of an activity and more with the external rewards to which that activity leads." Pink recommends what he calls the Motivation 3.0 operating system - "the upgrade that's needed to meet the new realities of how we organize, think about, and do what we do" - depends on the aforementioned Type I behavior.

I also appreciate Pink's provision of real-world examples to create a context, a frame-of-reference, within which to anchor as well as illustrate his core concepts. In Chapters 4-6, he rigorously examines the three elements of Type I behavior (i.e. autonomy, mastery, and purpose) and explains how and why they are separate but interdependent. All three are essential to help achieve what he characterizes as "a renaissance of self-direction." Motivation 3.0 presumes that workers want to be accountable - "and that making sure they have control over their task, their time, their technique, and their team is a pathway to destination." With regard to mastery, Type I "has an incremental theory of intelligence, prizes learning gals over performance goals, and welcomes effort as a way to improve at something that matters. Begin with [a Type X] mindset, and mastery is impossible. Begin with the other [i.e. Type I], and it can be inevitable."

With all due respect to Dan Pink's previously published books, I think this one is his most important, his most valuable, because the information and wisdom he provides will have much wider and deeper impact.

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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific Studies Contrasted with Carrot-and-Stick Management, 11 Jan 2010
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
"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.

I've also seen this problem occur where company executives have an opportunity to gain undreamed-of wealth. They get so focused on the money that they don't see anything else, and they make a lot of mistakes that they wouldn't if little money were involved.

As well documented as these points are, don't expect Wall Street banks and automotive companies to quickly switch over to encouraging autonomy, mastery, and purpose instead of paying big salaries and bonuses. Carrots and sticks involving money are in place because they pay well for those on the receiving end . . . not because they reward shareholders well.

The key problem with drawing all your lessons about motivation from this book is that the number of applications to work environments that have been well studied scientifically is pretty limited. My research suggests that there are lots of important motivating factors for doing good work that exist in addition to autonomy, mastery, and purpose. For instance, most workers tell you that they don't have the resources they need to do a good job . . . and that discourages them. In addition, most workers don't feel respected by those who are in charge of their work . . . which also discourages them. If you want a longer list, read Dilbert or visit someone in a cubicle. And those are just removing negative influences. There are other positive influences as well, including being faithful to God, expressing love to others, and being loyal to friends.

You also have to address whether the most important management task is to make everyone more motivated so that they produce more . . . or to make a few people effective in creating astonishingly large improvements that ordinary people can learn to implement. My work suggests the latter route is the way to go. Most people would choose the former route.

However deep you plan to delve into this subject, Drive is a good starting point if you are new to thinking about how to encourage people to accomplish more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, sharp and very much to the point, 16 April 2011
A. J. Sudworth "tonysudworth" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I thought this one of the best ' self help' books I've come across in a good while
The summary message is just three words - autonomy. mastery and purpose
To get the full understanding of what this means to your day job you'll need to read it - but what Pink does is show you that the 'top down , command and control' management style does not work with long term staff engagement. This is particularly true in the modern 'knowledge' worker jobs.
So yes, there is a degree of repetition in the narrative of the book but there is a clear message that I have taken to heart and one that chimes very well with the results of the top cause of illness in the UK civil service - lack of ability to drive a job to how you work best .. well worth considering and you WILL think differently after you have read this book (thats not a command by the way , but I think a definate observation ..)
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