Drive - Do you know what your motivation is?

Updated: Mar 15

I often meet people who make things for a living. Something that comes up time and again is their ability to lose complete track of time when working. In this book by Daniel H Pink he explains the concept of Flow, when we work at a deep level & deliver our best engagement and thinking. Much of the early stages of the book is explaining what conditions are needed to enter this state.

You'll love this book if:

- You have worked for an overbearing boss, who expected to get the best out of you via bullying and threats who hasn't?

- You enjoy learning about the importance of mindset for work, from psychologists like Carol Dweck

- You own your own business & want to learn how to create a great culture for you & future employees

- You feel that there is something more important to you than earning money from your work (obviously we all need to make money, but over and above a certain amount is that what drives you?)

A Synopsis of Drive

"When it comes to motivation there is 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. The new approach has three essential elements.

1) Autonomy - The desire to direct our own lives

2) Mastery - The urge to get better at something that matters

3) Purpose - The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves


The book begins with a synopsis of the scientific progression of understanding human motivation that's occurred in the last 100 years.

The discussion centers on understanding what a child will do if you reward them in some way to carry out an activity that they enjoy anyway. They often perform worse because of the reward not better.

The deepest levels of motivation are not engaged via monetary reward, but via satisfaction in results.

The real success comes when people are left alone to choose the projects they work on.


Companies are starting to catch up with the idea that it pays to give people time to self direct their work.

In one amazing example a worker invented the Post It note during this time. Which has gone on to earn 3M a fotune, and become one of the best selling products ever.

This book points out how the science of understanding motivation leads to the best results

Do you understand how to get the best work out of yourself?

What did I learn from this book?

- It was interesting to know more about the way science has progressed in understanding how our minds work in relation to work.

- People will do better work if you leave them alone to do it there way

- We all want to feel like we've mastered something

- We all seek motivation

- Keep mastery in mind we all like to improve over time, so finding things we can set challenges on is a good idea.

- Management is outdated. Most people don't need to be stood over to do their best work.

- A Results only work ethic doesn't work.

Thanks for reading! I hope you get to enjoy Drive at some point soon. The good news is that there are several other books by Daniel H Pink to enjoy as well including When - The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing & To Sell is Human


Singing for my Supper

If you enjoyed reading this article and maybe others I've written, found a tip that worked for you or learned something new, it would be great if you'd consider sending me the price of a cup of coffee :)

What to Read Next

You may also enjoy reading my review of The Start up of You by Reid Hoffman

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