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Drive
Cover of Drive
Drive
The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people—at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, 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.
Drive is bursting with big ideas—the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.
Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people—at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, 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.
Drive is bursting with big ideas—the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.
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  • From the book INTRODUCTION
    The Puzzling Puzzles ofHarry Harlow and Edward Deci

    In the middle of the last century, two young scientists conductedexperiments that should have changed the world— but did not.Harry F. Harlow was a professor of psychology at the Universityof Wisconsin who, in the 1940s, established one of the world's firstlaboratories for studying primate behavior. One day in 1949, Harlowand two colleagues gathered eight rhesus monkeys for a two- weekexperiment on learning. The researchers devised a simple mechanicalpuzzle like the one pictured on the next page. Solving it requiredthree steps: pull out the vertical pin, undo the hook, and lift thehinged cover. Pretty easy for you and me, far more challenging for athirteen- pound lab monkey.

    Harlow's puzzle in the starting (left) and solved (right) positions.

    The experimenters placed the puzzles in the monkeys' cages toobserve how they reacted— and to prepare them for tests of theirproblem- solving prowess at the end of the two weeks. But almostimmediately, something strange happened. Unbidden by any outsideurging and unprompted by the experimenters, the monkeys beganplaying with the puzzles with focus, determination, and what lookedlike enjoyment. And in short order, they began figuring out how thecontraptions worked. By the time Harlow tested the monkeys ondays 13 and 14 of the experiment, the primates had become quiteadept. They solved the puzzles frequently and quickly; two- thirds ofthe time they cracked the code in less than sixty seconds.

    Now, this was a bit odd. Nobody had taught the monkeys howto remove the pin, slide the hook, and open the cover. Nobody hadrewarded them with food, affection, or even quiet applause whenthey succeeded. And that ran counter to the accepted notions of howprimates— including the bigger- brained, less hairy primates knownas human beings— behaved.

    Scientists then knew that two main drives powered behavior. Thefirst was the biological drive. Humans and other animals ate to satetheir hunger, drank to quench their thirst, and copulated to satisfytheir carnal urges. But that wasn't happening here. "Solution did notlead to food, water, or sex gratification," Harlow reported.1But the only other known drive also failed to explain the monkeys'peculiar behavior. If biological motivations came from within,this second drive came from without— the rewards and punishmentsthe environment delivered for behaving in certain ways. This wascertainly true for humans, who responded exquisitely to such externalforces. If you promised to raise our pay, we'd work harder. If youheld out the prospect of getting an A on the test, we'd study longer.If you threatened to dock us for showing up late or for incorrectlycompleting a form, we'd arrive on time and tick every box. But thatdidn't account for the monkeys' actions either. As Harlow wrote, andyou can almost hear him scratching his head, "The behavior obtainedin this investigation poses some interesting questions for motivationtheory, since significant learning was attained and efficient performancemaintained without resort to special or extrinsic incentives."What else could it be?

    To answer the question, Harlow offered a novel theory— whatamounted to a third drive: "The performance of the task," he said,"provided intrinsic reward." The monkeys solved the puzzles simplybecause they found it gratifying to solve puzzles. They enjoyed it.The joy of the task was its own reward.

    If this notion was radical, what happened next only deepened theconfusion and controversy. Perhaps this newly discovered drive—Harlow eventually called it "intrinsic motivation"— was real....

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 19, 2009
    According to Pink (A Whole New Mind
    ), everything we think we know about what motivates us is wrong. He pits the latest scientific discoveries about the mind against the outmoded wisdom that claims people can only be motivated by the hope of gain and the fear of loss. Pink cites a dizzying number of studies revealing that “carrot and stick” can actually significantly reduce the ability of workers to produce creative solutions to problems. What motivates us once our basic survival needs are met is the ability to grow and develop, to realize our fullest potential. Case studies of Google's “20 percent time” (in which employees work on projects of their choosing one full day each week) and Best Buy's “Results Only Work Environment” (in which employees can work whenever and however they choose—as long as they meet specific goals) demonstrate growing endorsement for this approach. A series of appendixes include further reading and tips on applying this method to businesses, fitness and child-rearing. Drawing on research in psychology, economics and sociology, Pink's analysis—and new model—of motivation offers tremendous insight into our deepest nature.

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The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Daniel H. Pink
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