Friday, November 12, 2010

Drive : The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people--at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink explains in his new and paradigm-shattering book, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today's world 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 our lives. He demonstrates that while the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it's precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today's challenges. In Drive, he reveals the three elements of true 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

Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward. - from Goodreads

This book was mainly written for people in the business world, but the research presented here has direct, sobering implications on education as well. My hope is that many administrators, CEOs, upper-level managers, and anyone in leadership positions will read this book. The old model of external motivation that Pink refers to as "If/then Rewards" ("If you do this, then you'll get this...") is found consistently again and again to subvert motivation and actually prevent us from doing our best work.

Yet businesses and schools across America continue to use this old model of motivation (Motivation 2.0 as Pink likes to call it... Motivation 1.0 is merely cave-man survival) in an attempt to keep us compliant.

Compliance will no longer get the job done. We must do better. We must create autonomy in our work environments rather than managerial control over minions. Drive gives us the knowledge and tools to make that happen. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, when you know better, you do better.
Let's hope many people read this book so they can know better to do better.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates
Us by Daniel H. Pink
Published: December 2009 by Riverhead Hardcover
Pages: 256
Genre: Nonfiction
Audience: Adults in business or education

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