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Book Review: 'Drive' by Daniel H. Pink



Get your copy here: amzn.to/3TUADSu There’s a general tendency that assumes that external rewards drive motivation. That people’s motivations are explained by the ’carrot-and-stick’ approach: money being the driver. In Drive, The New York Times bestselling-author Daniel H. Pink makes a compelling case that the secret to satisfaction and greater performance isn’t external rewards or money, but the deeper human need of direction — the ability to direct one’s own lives, and in doing so, learning and creating things that help them do better for themselves, and the world around them. This finding, he argues, manifests across all areas of life: work, school, home. Pink highlights the distinction between what science knows and what business does in terms of motivation, and its implications on every aspect of our lives. Pink identifies autonomy, mastery and purpose as the key elements of motivation, and reveals a number of strategies and techniques to put these into play. This book will help readers rethink their approach to life, and realise and activate the power of motivation in their transformation.


Daniel H. Pink’s Drive is a book that takes on the conventional view that people are driven by external rewards. While there is some truth to this, Pink makes the case that this isn’t the natural case. He presents a take that goes beyond the carrots and stocks approach to reveal that intrinsic motivation is the primary driver of people’s pursuits. Drawing in research from a wide range of sources, from psychology to economics and neuroscience, Pink displaces the conventional view that external rewards lead to high performance. The book looks at three fundamental tenets of motivation, namely autonomy, mastery and purpose, and describes how each of these tenets play the primary role in human performance.


The tenet of autonomy is fundamentally important given that it gives people the freedom to be the directors of their own lives, and work. Daniel H. Pink’s Drive looks into cases observing the remarkable successes of self-directed individuals — in creativity and productivity. This isn’t just about motivation, it’s about making the most of one’s potential.


Pink explains that people want to naturally improve, to get better at whatever they’re doing, progressively, and to strive. This is better achieved with a growth mindset; to believe one can accomplish their ambitions. This motivation requires perseverance and toughness, that even if that task is tall, the strive to achieve that should never be compromised.


The ability to tweak and improve something, and keep progressing to a point of satisfaction and perfection is defined as the pursuit of mastery. Daniel H. Pink’s Drive explores the intrinsic desire for improving continuously, and the satisfaction one derives from this episode, including navigating barriers and challenging along the way. This orientation, Pink argues, is better stimulated by allowing for creative environments that encourage people to progress their skills and technical expertise.


People tend to be the happiest, and most productive, when they’re working towards something with a higher purpose. Those who’re aware of their purpose have a greater sense of satisfaction. Pink makes the case for the success of purpose-drive companies, which go beyond just money to make something with meaning.


The purpose of doing something comes from a higher cause — be it a sense of accumulation or contribution to something larger. Daniel H. Pink’s Drive reveals the power of higher causes, personal values and communal goals that help companies align themselves with their employees, which allow for mutual drive, greater performance and meaningful impact.


By looking into the fundamental tenets of autonomy, mastery and purpose in driving motivation, Daniel H. Pink’s Drive is able to source a wide range of case studies and examples across industries. These help readers get a grip on these tenets and reevaluate their own motivations. From life to work, these tenets serve as means to transform people, their organizations, and facilitate greater performance and innovation.


Daniel H. Pink’s Drive is a book that helps readers, entrepreneurs and business managers rethink their perspective on motivation. To move the needle from extrinsic to intrinsic rewards. That, instead of carrots and sticks, the fundamental intrinsic motivations of autonomy, mastery and purpose will lead to greater satisfaction and performance. 


Daniel H. Pink’s Drive is a refreshing read because it lets the reader get underneath the idea of motivation. Pink draws from history and culture, suggesting that while fear and survival was the basis of motivation 1.0, pursuing rewards and avoiding punishment is the basis of motivation 2.0. He goes on to call for a motivation 3.0, a new operative system that fits the modern mindset, that relies on individual initiative, human creativity, remote, flexible working environments and so on. The idea of working has come to become more self-motivated in recent times, and thus motivation 3.0 is the need of modern leaders and organizations.


Daniel H. Pink’s Drive is a book that doesn’t just make the case for intrinsic motivation, or explain the different tenets of intrinsic motivation, but offer a range of strategies, tactics and practical ways to realise one’s motivation. Such as, for instance, the art of monitoring how one feels during the day. To ask whether their work engages or disengages them. By inspiring readers to identify their broader purpose, Pink prompts simple things like questioning each day what they’ve accomplished, and whether anything new was learnt, or were they moving in the right direction towards their purpose and intent. Such tips, including actions and behavior to avoid, is a way to help readers align and realign their motivations. It lets them organize their lives more in tune to achieving things that meet their intrinsic motivation. Overall, Daniel H. Pink’s Drive is an inspiring book that helps anyone rethink their purpose, find the motivation that matters, and put those to play so as to transform their personal and professional lives. Get your copy here: amzn.to/3TUADSu

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