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

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  51,300 Ratings  ·  2,831 Reviews
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
Paperback, 270 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Riverhead Books (first published 2008)
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Cath Duncan
Mar 30, 2010 Cath Duncan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 27, 2010 Doug rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, nonfiction
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
Jul 08, 2010 Phoebe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Oct 02, 2010 Donalyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
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.
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
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
Sep 08, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
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
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.
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
Chad Warner
May 14, 2011 Chad Warner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: Holland Chamber of Commerce
An intriguing investigation of the factors that motivate people. Pink shows that science has learned much about motivation, but business and education still follow outdated models. The old systems of rewards and punishments are no longer effective for today’s non-routine, creative, conceptual work. People need a sense of autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Pink divides human history into three “operating systems” of motivation:
Motivation 1.0: People are driven by their biological urges: hunger, thirs
Dec 06, 2011 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 11, 2011 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 26, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Becca Fick
May 30, 2012 Becca Fick rated it it was amazing
Reading Daniel Pink’s DRiVE took me a lot longer than a 200 page book normally would. I couldn’t stop taking notes while I read it! Normally I’d write in the margins and highlight the good parts, but I borrowed this book from the office library and that’s probably frowned upon. After the fact, I’m really glad I took notes. I learn a lot through writing and reflection and it forced me to dig a little deeper and process the points I would have otherwise only highlighted.

Daniel Pink, Drive: The Sur
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
Jan 05, 2016 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this uses information from a number of other books I've read (such as Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions), it's a decent summary of the science of motivational psychology to date. Basically, the author is letting you know that external rewards and punishments work well for getting people to do boring mindless tasks well, but in large part they actually demotivate people when it comes to tasks that involve creativity and decision making. The writing is ver ...more
Stefy Davis
Jan 20, 2013 Stefy Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Fiona Leonard
Apr 05, 2013 Fiona Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ian Robertson
Apr 07, 2013 Ian Robertson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Ian "Marvin" Graye
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
Nguyên ngộ ngộ
Cuốn sách này viết về gì?
Một cuộc cách mạng về cách cổ vũ động viên người khác trải qua 3 giai đoạn
- Hệ 1.0 - động lực sinh học: thỏa mãn được mấy nhu cầu cơ bản nhất của con người: ăn, uống, ngủ nghỉ, tình dục, lương thưởng...
- Hệ 2.0 - động lực ngoại vi: động lực kiểu "cây gậy và củ cà rốt", tốt thì thưởng, sai thì phạt
- Hệ 3.0 - động lực nội tại: xuất phát từ 3 gốc rễ: quyền tự trị, sự làm chủ, và mục đích ý nghĩa.
Cuốn sách xoay quanh những nhược điểm trong hệ 2.0 - điều gì khiến "cây gậy và
Jan 07, 2016 Klinta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a really exciting read, it covered research into motivational field and opinions and theories of experts in psychology and business. It is rare that a textbook type of book captions my attention so much that I don't really want to read anything else, but this one did so.

In many of the situations and models described I saw myself, my flaws and actually got motivated to change something in my life. I don't really know, how long the motivation will last though. What also helped is th
Veselin Nikolov
Apr 08, 2015 Veselin Nikolov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book, yet so hard to read! I'm glad it's behind my back.

I've always thought that the way I work when I'm most efficient is called 'Enthusiasm'. Turns out that it's called 'flow' and it has nothing to do with enthusiasm, but with more predictable things like autonomy, challenge, and sense of purpose. Don't get me wrong, 'Drive' is not about 'flow' and 'enthusiasm', it's a guide how to use your intrinsic motivation and to create such in your kids and employees.

Short, good read, took me a lot
Surya Kumar
Mar 10, 2016 Surya Kumar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ovi from nugget
May 23, 2016 Ovi from nugget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Pink: why everything you know about motivation is wrong

What you decide not to do is probably more important than what you decide to do.

Thought you knew how to motivate yourself and those around you? Think again. As Daniel Pink explains in Drive, the old-school notion of motivation – offering rewards – is no longer relevant in today’s world. The secret to high performance lies in our innate desire to be autonomous, to discover and create, and to do better. ...more
Sep 22, 2016 Correen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another look at long ignored research. I have heard the author's argument many times but never with as much research and clarity as Pink uses. The argument has often been couched in a feminine versus method but Pink uses none of that and instead presents a method that is difficult to follow but more likely to work.
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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...

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“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon.” 37 likes
“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” 33 likes
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