Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Daniel H. Pink book)

Published 2021-10-19.

This book is about the nature of human motivation. It argues that when people are intrinsically motivated as opposed to extrinsically motivated, they are more creative, happy, and high-performing. The three major intrinsic drives are said to be autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Pink claims that organizations that optimize for those drives, rather than “carrot-and-stick” drives like monetary incentives or punishments, will do better in the long run.

I thought the book was okay. I read it because Will Schoder, whose work I admire, recommended that I look into self-determination theory, which Drive is basically a simplified presentation of. My main disappointment with the book is that it’s aimed mainly at managers and executives who want to improve their organizations, rather than at individuals who want to improve aspects of their own lives. There’s some of that in the book too, but most of it was already familiar to me—e.g. the work of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Angela Duckworth, and Carol Dweck.

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