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

Go to school, get good grades, get into a good college, get a good job and make a lot of money:  it’s the success road map that guides our society.  Unfortunately, this route is one note, bland, uninspiring and threatens to leave even the most motivated individual eager for the weekend’s lazy monotony.  Is there a better way?  Can we rise above our machine-like existence?  That’s the issue that’s been circling around a lot lately and the question that Daniel Pink’s Drive seeks to contribute discuss.

Drive discusses motivation, but as a business idea as opposed to a personal one (although he does, briefly, touch upon that).  While this may make the book seem less applicable to a large variety of people, it is the narrow-focus of ambition within the workplace that makes the book fascinating.  Pink writes with authority about how we are motivated in the workplace and what good organizations can do to make sure their employees are motivated.  If you are an employee, there is plenty of self-illuminating information to help you get fired up to look at your job, and your life, in a new and more fulfilling manner.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  For a book that’s written in a moderarely scientific manner, it’s surprisingly readable and a quick read at that.  It’s broken down into a variety of sections, each of which focus on a different aspect of motivation—motivation 2.0 or motivation 3.0 as the author calls them.  Motivation 2.0 consists mainly of external signals and motivation 3.0 is internal.  This internal way of getting things done is what the author argues will be the future of our businesses.

There are also a variety of stories about companies that have been changing their business format in order to better incorporate personal motivations.  Pink discusses everything from real life to theoretical examples, making sure that you understand how motivation is not a static thing, but rather a changing and shifting mind set.

Drive is a quick read and essential for anyone involved in business.  If you’re ever thought about boosting worker productivity or putting forth more innovative products, you need this book for your company.  If you, like me, are not business minded, Drive is still a fantastic read.  In fact, I would argue that it’s probably more important for people like us.  Those of us who are divided between a creative and scientific mind (there is a reason I study languages.  i am no where near cool enough to go into a field without some rules) need the free structure of motivation as suggested in Drive.

How are you motivated?  Do you respond more to internal or external cues?

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