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Drive’s Back-of-Book Description

The New York Times bestseller that gives readers a paradigm-shattering new way to think about motivation from the author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing


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.


My Thoughts

Non-fiction time! I’ve been keeping up with my “every other book should be a non-fiction book” plan, and well… this one caught my eye. I’d heard of Daniel Pink a few times before, tied to interesting quotes or with noteworthy research stats, so I knew I wanted to read one of his books. To be honest, I kind of picked this particular book at random. 

It was a pretty good choice! Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us was a quick read; it kept me interested and well… motivated to learn more! There were relevant situational examples, which is always good. I really hate it when these kinds of books are too dry and talk over my head the whole time. 

For me, Drive was relatable and thought-provoking. It explored the notion that the busines world is not keeping up with the science one. For example, studies have shown that people desire and require autonomy, mastery, and purpose over their lives in order to be happy. Yet the current traditional business model doesn’t typically offer those. I haven’t been in the corporate, business world long, but I can tell you this is pretty accurate. 

One of the things I liked most about this book is that Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us is kind of a two-fer! The first and most prominant part is your typical non-fiction, bussiness development, research based book. And the second part is a guide on how to use the information, and specific examples you might find yourself in. There are special bits on salespeople, organizations, and even parenting. Plus! A reading list for people interested in this kind of thing to learn more (YAY!). 

The old-school methods of rewards and punishments are challenged and ideas on how to manage and lead more effectively are presented for all kinds of scenerios. And he does so with easy to digest nuggets and good, quote-worthy take-aways. 

Favorite Quotes From Drive

“Humans are more than the sum of our biological urges.”


“[sometimes] rewards can perform a weird sort of behavioral alchemy: They can transform an interesting task into a drudge. They can turn play into work. And by diminishing intrinsic motivation, they can send performance, creativity, and even upstanding behavior toppling like dominos.”


“By offering a reward, a principle signals to the agent that the task is undesirable.”


“Get people fired up with the prospect of rewards, and instead of making better decisions…they can actually make worse ones.” 


“Meaningful acheivement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.”  


“Human beings have an inate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”


“Without sovereignty over our time, it’s nearly impossible to have autonomy over our lives.” 


In Conclusion

4.5 out of 5 stars! Drive is a perfectly delightful and informative non-fiction book. If you’re at all curious about the psychology behind motivation and personal inspiration, I would strongly encourage you to pick this up. Like I said above, there are situational examples, so even if you’re not in a business setting, there’s still something you can learn.

But I would also really recommend this as a gift for anyone you know moving into a leadership role, as it does provide good insights on how to manage people effectively, and get your employees to accomplish necessary goals. 

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