The Quotable “Drive”

July 31, 2012

I recently finished Daniel Pink’s latest book, Drive as part of a book discussion group with some good friends of mine. It’s a book that focuses on motivation and what really drives us. In it, Pink describes what he calls “Motivation 2.0” which assumes that humans respond to rewards and punishments in their environment. This motivation, says Pink, works well when work is simple and routine. But in today’s world, where work has become increasingly more complex, humans don’t respond as well to this “carrot and stick” style of motivation. In fact, this type of motivation can have a real negative impact on productivity.

Pink goes on to describe “Motivation 3.0” which essentially describes a more intrinsic motivation. In this drive, we are motivated “less with external rewards to which and activity leads and more with the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself.” Pink describes this way of thinking as “Type I Behavior” where we are driven by, “our innate need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and do better by ourselves and our world.” In the book, Pink goes on to describe how companies such as Google, 3M and Zappos successfully use this motivation to get the most out of it’s employees and create a culture where people want to spend their time.

I enjoyed the book. It shattered the myth in my mind that more extrinsic forms of motivation actually work. It also helped me understand why I’m intrigued by organizations with unique cultures like Google and Zappos. Overall, the book was enlightening and I was particularly impressed with many of the quotes within the book.

In Autonomy (chapter):

“The ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. Some skeptics insist that innovation is expensive. In the long run, innovation is cheap. Mediocrity is expensive – and autonomy can be the antidote.” — Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO

“Hire good people, and leave them alone.” — William McKnight, 3M President and Chairman

“Nothing is more important to my success than controlling my schedule. I’m most creative from five to nine a.m. If I had a boss or co-workers, they would ruin my best hours one way or another.” — Scott Adams, Dilbert creator

In Mastery:

“The desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences or business.” — Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard University

“Figure out for yourself what you want to be really good at, know that you’ll never really satisfy yourself that you’ve made it, and accept that it’s okay.” — Robert Reich, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor

In Purpose:

“One cannot lead a life that is truly excellent without feeling that one belongs to something greater and more permanent than oneself.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

Overall, I enjoyed reading Drive, including his Type I toolkit, which is included at the end. Whether you manage people or not, it’s a quick read and a wise investment of your time.

How about you…have you read Drive? What do you think? How does knowing your own motivation and drive help you?

1 Be August 13, 2012 at 6:16 am

agreed … they are very good quotes. I’ve also put that book on my reading list too – thanks! 🙂

2 Tim August 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Hi Be…thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I’ve got to say I haven’t been disappointed in the two books I’ve read from Daniel Pink.

3 Be August 15, 2012 at 5:49 am

I’m fond ones that enhance the inner whilst offering practical improvements for our external lives. Thanks for dropping by my site as well Tim 🙂

I’ll watch out for a post from you on your own quirky coffee shop visit 😉

4 Tim August 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hi Be:

Who knows, I may just post a review about that quirky coffee shop. Or start a coffee related blog. BTW, I really enjoyed your blog…I’m someone who believes in and tries to practice mindfulness.

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