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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 ·  103,160 ratings  ·  4,613 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
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published December 29th 2009 by Riverhead Books
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Marek Sammul It does. To an extent. Mostly focusing on motivating others.
There is even the whole second part of the book giving you straight guidelines how to mot…more
It does. To an extent. Mostly focusing on motivating others.
There is even the whole second part of the book giving you straight guidelines how to motivate people... I would never follow these. Not that they were wrong, but they are way too black-and-white and narrow minded.

Read the first part of the book - the overview. And then devise your own approaches.(less)
Brian Kramp I wouldn't necessarily say that, but your question makes me remember a book called "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society," which isn't…moreI wouldn't necessarily say that, but your question makes me remember a book called "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society," which isn't necessarily going to answer your whole question, but you might want to check it out.(less)

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Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Paul Eckert
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Greg Swierad
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
To be completely honest, this is one of the books that inspired me to start a new business, a mobile app I’m still working on (Books In Action). This book helped me understand that our education system requires revolution. It’s obsolete, and completely not prepared for the future.
My top 3 takeaways are:
* Some people are motivated intrinsically and some are motivated intrinsically.
* Extrinsic motivation can kill intrinsic motivation. In order words, if we pay someone to do sth, or we force someo
Krishna Chaitanya
Well, it was a quick read. This book aims for self and business improvement. The content in this book gets straight to the point, not beating around the bush.

This books starts with the introduction to what motivates or drives humans to accomplish tasks. Humans have the following types of drives,
1 - Biological drive: eat to sate the hunger, drink to quench the thirst.
2 - Extrinsic drive: you get a reward if you work and you get punished when you don't. It is also known as rewards and punishment
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
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
This is a good book for those who want to be galvanized into doing something but just can’t get the intellectual or physical stamina to do it. While I feel the last 80 pages of the book weren’t necessary, this book was quite good and the research was original. The puzzles at the end were a nice addition as well.
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
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
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. ...more
Laura Gembolis
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
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Dec 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jay Connor
May 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Carrie Kellenberger
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Morgan Blackledge
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read Drive a while back, like in 2012, and as I recall, I sort of liked it, but apparently not all that much, as evidenced by the fact that I retained very little of the materiel, gave it a (x3) star rating and didn’t bother to write a review of it.

Anyway, I re-read it as a little supplement to an Emotion, Cognition and Motivation course I’m taking.

And as it turns out, it’s better in the broader context of the field.

So I’m taking this opportunity to reconsider the book, and give it the ‘onc
Laura Noggle
2.5 ⭐️'s rounded up to 3 — Interesting approach for a hard to nail down answer. Most relevant for employers trying to extract optimum performance from employees, parents raising children, or those with general curiosity.

We're born to be players, not pawns. We're meant to be autonomous individuals, not individual automatons.

Best predictor of success: Grit. (I actually liked Angela Duckworth's book, "Grit," a little more than this one.)

Second Law of Mastery: Mastery Is A Pain

A lot of this stuff
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, psychology
This is another great book by Daniel Pink. It may be a coincidence, but just a few weeks ago I read another book on the same theme: Punished by Rewards: The Trouble With Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A'S, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn. The book by Kohn was published about 20 years earlier, and tells much the same story, in a much more scholarly, and perhaps drier style.

Daniel Pink's book, though, is much more readable, much shorter, and has a different slant. Rewards can be used to motiv
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tomio by: Leah
Shelves: poppsych
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cath Duncan
Dec 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Michael Halligan
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I made myself finish this because I was sure there had to be something new and interesting in this crazy popular book. Nope. It's all the stuff you've already heard--growth mindset, flow, blah blah blah. Skip this one. ...more
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Chad Warner
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chad by: Holland Chamber of Commerce
Shelves: non-fiction, business
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
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I went in expecting this to be a pop psych book, similar to Gladwell. I wanted a book on why humans do things the way they do, and how we analyze problems and make decisions. But this is a pop business book. I don’t care for business self-help books, so take my review with a grain of salt.

Pink talks about intrinsic motivation vs. extrinsic motivation, and a growth mindset vs. a static mindset. Some good studies are thrown in, showing that the carrot/stick methods of motivation only work a small
Lars Guthrie
Feb 18, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
I have to confess I didn't really enjoy this book. I wanted to. I certainly enjoy the autonomy my job currently provides and am sympathetic to a book whose agenda is to propagate such.

Keyword is propagate, as this book quickly became an annoying parade of unoriginal ideas wrapped in an idealism that didn't honestly deal with the challenges of "setting your workforce free." There's been a lot of intelligent thought on human organization and motivation that isn't usefully dismissed by asserting th
Dec 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Mediocre at best. Like many pop science writers, Pink regurgitates a bunch of other people's work and tries to put his own spin on it. Unfortunately, nothing in this book is new or even surprising, despite Pink's assertion to the contrary. Pink alternately sneers at the idea of "empowerment" then goes on to basically advocate the exact same thing.

The worst part is that the book is written in a salesman's voice. Unsurprisingly, Pink has a whole 'kit' to help people discover their own internal mot
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of six provocative books — including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

WHEN has spent 4 months on the New York Times bestseller list and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Amazon and iBooks.

Dan's other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. His

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