Daniel H. Pink’s 2009 business book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us is all about the science of motivation. More specifically, it’s about the mismatch between what we think we know about motivation, and how motivation actually works. It’s a relatively short (under 300 pages) book, with the potential to really challenge what you think you know about motivating yourself and others.
Who is Daniel H. Pink, the Author of Drive?
Daniel H. Pink is a non-fiction book writer based in Washington, DC. He is most known for his business book Drive and is getting a lot of success for his most recent book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. His books focus on the intersections of business, science, and psychology.
The Style of Drive by Daniel H. Pink
Pink’s book seems aimed at the business community, but it’s not necessarily a difficult read. He does introduce a lot of scientific theories and philosophical questions, but does so in a relatively simple language. His business book also includes a lot of examples, which do a great job of illustrating the points he makes.
The Content of Drive by Daniel H. Pink
The primary question of Daniel H. Pink’s Drive is why do people do things? Why do we wake up in the morning? Why do we go to the gym? Why do we start businesses? Why do we study? His main thesis is that we do it for ourselves…but not necessarily with the goal of achieving material wealth.
Many people assume that we maintain motivation because we have a goal in mind: to become rich, famous, more loved, more free, etc. But according to Pink, that’s all wrong. We motivate ourselves best when we have “intrinsic reasons”. Intrinsic reasons can be wanting to learn and be challenged, wanting to make an impact on the world, wanting to help others.
In many ways, the content of Pink’s book is very anti-cynical. It rejects the idea that people do things for gain, and really emphasizes our need to do things just for the sake of it. In this book, Pink gives a lot of examples of things that motivate people, and most of them are not actually money!
After exposing his thesis, Pink gives some very practical tips on how to keep others and ourselves motivated through finding meaning, passion, and purpose.
Is Book Drive by Daniel H. Pink for Me?
I would say this book is a great fit for two categories of people. The first is entrepreneurs who want to keep themselves motivated to pursue the sometimes grueling task of starting a business. The second is business people who need to keep a team of employees motivated. Both these people can learn a lot from Daniel H. Pink’s book on the true reasons for motivation.
Final Thoughts on Drive by Daniel H. Pink
Daniel H. Pink’s business book Drive is well-written, engaging, and presents some very interesting ideas. Overall, it’s one of the best-written books on the science of motivation. It’s definitely an important read and one that will delight psychology lovers.
If you’re interested in learning more about motivation, you could also check out The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden, which also presents some great insights. No Sweat by Michelle Segar is also a great book on motivation, this one focusing more on how we start and stick to a fitness program.