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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  34,150 ratings  ·  2,170 reviews

Unabridged CDs • 6 CDs, 7 hours

From Daniel H. Pink, the author of the groundbreaking bestseller A Whole New Mind, comes his next big idea book: a paradigm- changing examination of what truly motivates us and how to harness that knowledge to find greater satisfaction in our lives and our work.

Audio CD, 6 pages
Published January 21st 2010 by Penguin Audio (first published 2008)
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Why am I writing this review on Goodreads, anyway? I'm not getting paid for it. There are plenty of other things I should be doing. And it's not like I have a coterie of devoted followers waiting with bated breath for my next review (in fact, the vast majority of reviews I write here get zero comments and zero "likes"). So why, then?

DRIVE has the answer. I do it for me. I do it for intrinsic reasons and thumb my nose at the world of extrinsic ones. I do it because I derive personal pleasure from
Ian Heidin-Seek
From the Fictive Desk of D.J. Ian:

The End is Much More Exciting than It Was Once Upon a Time

The story of GoodBetterBestReads has really only just begun, but we have already become the world’s largest community of potential readers, book buyers and Kindle users who have star-rated a book at least once in the last 12 months.

The problem is you can’t buy a condo or a beer off the back of potential alone. We need people to buy books, and to do that we need people who can sell books.

That’s where you
What frustrates me is the main premise has a contradiction that is never addressed. He begins the book with some research on monkeys that demonstrated an innate interest in solving puzzles. He then goes on to describe his big premise which is that we are are in the midst of a major motivational shift. First our motivation was our biological drives. Then came a period of motivation from structure and oversight. And now we want autonomy to determine our own motivation. But Pink's presentation on t ...more
This book comes with its own summary – a very handy thing:

When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system—which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators—doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements: (1) Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery—the urge to get better and better
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
So, I listened to this entire book about motivation, and I can't figure out why I don't feel motivated to write a review. No carrot, no stick, no review.
Only the first chapter is necessary. The rest is repetitious and filled with soon-to-be-obsolete computer metaphors.

However, I've been thinking a lot about this book since I read it (a few weeks ago?), so two stars was perhaps a stingy rating. Everywhere I go lately, I see examples of poorly-designed systems, destined to kill people's intrinsic motivation.

I recently read "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn. Kohn's premise is basically that rewarding and punishing children for acting in cert
Paul Eckert
I can think of a few alternate titles for this book.

“The Art of Beating a Dead Horse: Your Guide to Regurgitating the Same Point in Every Chapter”

“How to Filter Years of Other People’s Research into Broad Talking Points”

“You Too Can Write a Book With At Least 25% Filler Material”

“The Fair and Balanced Guide to Selling Your Point By Avoiding Contradictory Evidence”

I jest, yet I do think the main topic of this book is important and true. I will save you the pain of reading it by stating it here: p
In Drive, Daniel H. Pink suggests that there is a gap between what "science knows and what business does." I was not shocked to learn that this gap exists, and I attributed Pink's decision to emphasize the existence of this gap to what I believe is the author's drive to attract corporate speaking engagements, consultancies, and Op/Ed articles in national newspapers. If he's lucky, he could maybe land a job as a pundit. Ostensibly, Pink's purpose is to share the "surprising truth about what motiv ...more
Some good ideas, but for once I'd like to see a book where the case studies about flexible scheduling and autonomy don't involve software companies or consultants. I'd like to see an example where they motivate DMV employees to work harder to do the same menial work, but if giving DMV employees 20% flex time for their own projects means a corresponding 20% increase in the 2 hour wait time, I'm not on board with it. I don't know why, but it bugs me when authors use software version numbers, the b ...more
Michael Halligan
I imagine this is a great book to confuse those with a lot of management theory behind them. Luckily I'm not one of those, and this book has really struck home. Pink focuses begins by focusing on describing existing management processes as a carrot and stick reward system having evolved workplace of monotonous, undesirable tasks. He introduces the work of a number of social scientists and management theorists, as well as the results of their experiments both in the lab and in the work place. He ...more
Jay Connor
As a consultant, I am particularly sensitive to unhelpful jargon and the creation of distinctions without a difference. Enter "Drive." This could have been so much better. As Pink presents correctly, much of the research re human motivation IS counter-intuitive to what most of us tend to think is the best way to reward, incentivize or bribe people to act in beneficial ways. Unfortunately, Pink insists on creating such a tower of babble -- "motivation 3.0," "type-I," "ROE," "if/then contingent re ...more
Cath Duncan
I got an early copy for the Bottom-line Bookclub. Look out for Drive on the shelves from 29 Dec.

I'm LOVING this latest book by Dan Pink. A Whole New Mind is a stroke of genius in understanding the way that the world of work has changed, and DRIVE is a powerful extension to A Whole New Mind that argues that, because of the ways that the world of work has changed, carrot-and-stick motivation is no longer effective or desirable. Instead, he explains how you can elicit a much more powerful form of m
This book has been on my "to read" shelf for some time, and while I had read some excerpts, understood the general ideas and seen the excellent RSA Animate excerpt (, there is far more here than is generally summed up.

This book became extremely interesting because it was juxtaposed with a discussion of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs published shortly after his death. A coworker not known for his managerial skills but who is respected for his results read the Jobs b
May 02, 2010 Tomio rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tomio by: Leah
Shelves: poppsych
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lars Guthrie
In his essay about the spate of new books dealing with the effects of the internet on culture in a recent New Yorker (, Adam Gopnik separates observers into three camps: the Never-Betters, the Better-Nevers, and the Ever-Wasers.

Daniel Pink, as readers of his previous ‘A Whole New Mind,’ will guess, is a Never-Better type, seriously optimistic about our potential and the odds of achieving it.

While ‘Drive’ isn’t specifically about what the Internet is doi
Carrie Kellenberger
Are you the type of person that is motivated by money and fame, or are you someone that is motivated by having a larger purpose in life? Or are you a combination of both? Financial gain has always been a motivator for me, but I'm also the type of person that will take on extra work, new projects or volunteer my time simply because I like the work and it makes me feel good. It might sound crazy, but I'm not the only one. The volunteer industry is booming with people just like me who are looking f ...more
Reading Pink's book, I endlessly thought about teachers and what motivates us (it's NOT merit-pay) and students and what motivates them to read (it's not pizza coupons or AR points). Funny, insightful, and supported by research, Drive has far-reaching implications for our society and how we view work and the people we try to motivate.
I think the whole book could've been wrapped up in one or two chapters. I really get what Author is trying to say and it is important that Governments, Corporations understand that not everything that their employee (or a person) does for them is because they get paid for it. In fact, I personally believe that most of us deep down do realize that point because otherwise Human Civilization would not have come as far as it has come today. (Look at any major discoveries, inventions of past few cent ...more
Amanda's Informal Notes:

Surprisingly, pretty darn fascinating. I don't usually read a lot of non-fiction, so it took me a bit to get used to the author's style, but I'm glad I pushed through because Drive gave me some great food for thought:

-So for hundreds of years, businesses have been modeled around the idea that people don't have any inherent motivation to work. To keep your workforce productive, you have to reward employees for good behavior (i.e. money and recognition) and punish them for
Shoot, my life would be better if the last two thirds of this book had never been written.

If this book only consisted of the first third, I would be able to give it a high rating and a nice review: this book is a little bit short, I would say, but it talks about an interesting, non-intuitive aspect of human psychology -- an aspect that has been ignored by significant fields like economics and psychology. We clearly recognize that there are two large drives that motivate people: the first is biol
Fiona Leonard
As a homeschooling, self employed person, this book didn't come as a huge surprise, but it is one that I really enjoyed. I suspect it is because this is a book that sets down on paper what your gut has been telling you for years.

Drawing on decades of research and numerous commercial case studies, Daniel Pink unpacks and refutes the notion that the carrot and stick approach is an optimal approach to management. Pink asserts that while financial incentives may provide an initial motivational spike
Guilherme Ferreira
Entender como a motivação funciona se tornou o grande foco das empresas de alto rendimento. Em um mundo cada vez mais de tarefas criativas, que demandam de soluções inovadoras percebemos que nosso sistema atual de motivação (recompensas e punições) se encontra atrasado. Em alguns casos minimizando o nosso potencial e em outros piores inibindo a nossa criatividade.

Este livro trata justamente sobre isso, dividido em três partes a primeira parte explica como nasceu o nosso sistema atual e de motiva
An extremely well written book regarding human motivation. The book identifies three classes of motivation: biological (desire for food and warmth), extrinsic (rewards and punishments), and intrinsic (self motivation). The text explores the failings of the second category, the "carrot and stick" approach, except in the context of manual or algorithmic activity. The adoption of "if then" rewards - "if" you do X, "then" you will get Y - diminishes appreciation of the task, crowds out creativity, d ...more
Ian Robertson
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 whi
If you are like me (and most Americans), you believe that money is a great motivator. Maybe the best motivator. Dan Pink argues otherwise and is on a mission to point out the gap between what science knows and what businesses and society do when it comes to motivation. This is not to say that money doesn't work as a motivator. It does. But it only functions well as a motivator when you need people to focus in a factory-like situation. As long as creativity isn't needed, money should be your ace- ...more
People aren't solely driven by carrots and sticks. In fact, carrots and sticks improperly applied or overused are actually detrimental to getting people to do things and do them well. So all those schools paying kids to learn, ur doin it rong.

People are also motivated by the challenge, and they like autonomy. And this book made me so jealous of places where the employees get to work when and where and how they like. And those that get 20% of their time to work on whatever they want (for the comp
Apr 14, 2013 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nonfiction/human behavior fans
What motivates people?

Daniel Pink takes a real close look at what business and society has always thought about motivation. He throws away the carrot and stick approach of parents, teachers, and bosses everywhere and suggests 3 true elements of 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"

Pink uses some interesting examples to get
The truth about what motivates us isn't really all that surprising... what's surprising to me is that our institutions, especially schools, are still clinging to the idea that people are basically lazy blobs who need to be prodded to do anything mentally stimulating. Pink argues that intrinsic motivation -- our desire to be challenged and use our brains -- is a very powerful drive that can be harnessed to create better workers and students. Unfortunately, this drive is largely ignored by teacher ...more
Stefy Davis
As children, we are motivated by our curiosity and need to learn about and explore new things. As adults, the way our society is configured brings us to believe that our number one motivator (number one “drive”) is money. Or is it?

Daniel Pink explores the human psychology of why we do what we do and what exactly makes us want to do what we do. We are born with an innate sense of adventure and curiosity, but we seem to forget this as we grow older.

Pink starts off with an interesting scenario. Sup
Clif Hostetler
I recommend THIS REVIEW for a description of this book that's better than any review that I might write.

This book describes how the usual measures taken to promote motivation in people can have results opposite of what was intended. These unintended consequences have long been demonstrated by psychologists, but businesses and schools have been slow to make use of this information. All the time I was listening to this book I was thinking about how difficult it is to change social situations to ta
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How good are we at identifying what we enjoy? 6 75 Apr 02, 2014 08:11PM  
FULL Creative Lib...: Drive 1 2 Mar 05, 2014 11:40AM  
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and Free Agent Nation. His next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, will be published in 2010.

Dan's articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including The
More about Daniel H. Pink...
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself The Flip Manifesto

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“The ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. Some skeptics insist that innovation is expensive. In the long run, innovation is cheap. Mediocrity is expensive—and autonomy can be the antidote.”   TOM KELLEY General Manager, IDEO” 22 likes
“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon.” 21 likes
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