Must Read – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Must Read - Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Must Read – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Title: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Author: Daniel H. Pink
Published: 2009
Resources: Buy: Amazon / Video: YouTube by RSA Animate (see also below)

Are you motivated? Presumably this one of the most responsible questions, as it is about being happy with what one is doing. But do you know, how motivation works? What is necessary to foster motivation? A stunning but plausible explanation in matters of motivation is being delivered by Daniel Pink in his book “Drive: What really motivates us”.

Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose – intrinsic motivators in general turned out to be much stronger than anything else. Essential experiments on motivation conducted in the last centuries showed, that external factors are only strong under conditions, where individuals have been fighting for survival and reproduction.

Only the industrialization and now the digitalization are changing the needs dramatically.

In his book Dan Pink shows from beginning, that things are different than one might think. Starting from some of the most stunning scientific studies, Pink argues that evolution has teached us to look differently at motivation. Whereas rewards have been working for tedious or repetitive tasks, it is rather counterproductive in regards to creativity and commitment. In experiments people, who have been rewarded for achieving some given goals, performed worse than control groups, which did not perceive any reward at all!

How many of us wondered about the ingratitude or dissatisfaction we experience from rewards? To explain this phenomenon, Dan Pink defines two stereotypes and describes their nature. People attributed to the “E-Type” are running after external motivations like wealth, power, or fame. Their motivation is distracted from the real tasks and it turns out, that they run after success by reaching out for endless growing ambitions. The group of “I-Type” people understands to look for and facilitate intrinsic motivators, which provide satisfaction and that something of value could be achieved.

This is what Daniel Pink provides as catalysts for highly motivated people:

Autonomy – be free to take your own decisions instead of being the slave to someone else’s directives.

Mastery – get a chance to work on improvements, making an initial solution a better solution.

Purpose – make your activities providing value to you or others, giving them some meaning.

If you are looking for motivation, make sure you and your environment is set up accordingly to foster these principles. Dan Pink stresses, that everyone can become highly motivated with this approach – irrespective if tending towards the “E-Type” stereotype or being an “I-Type” stereotype already.

Read the book, it makes sense!

A final hint from the book: if you do not come around without rewards for motivation, avoid “if … then” situation but go for “now that” rewards. They tend to foster motivation instead of devasting it.

And “now that” you know about it: The book can be found here at Amazon.

The following is a pleasant video review of the book done by the guys from RSA Animate: