Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink – Updated Summary

Are You Type X of Type I

  • Pink sees two basic type of people. Those that neglect the inherent enjoyment of what they do in favor of external rewards are Type X as in eXtrinsic. Type I as in intrinsic, resist outside goodies and are motivated more by freedom, challenge, and purpose. He notes that Type I’s almost always outperform Type X’s in the long run. Type I’s do not disdain money or recognition but for them, once they have fair and adequate pay, it takes money off the table so they can focus on the work itself. For Type X people, money is the table.

The Importance of Autonomy

  • Management hasn’t changed much in 100 years. Its central ethic remains control and its chief tools remain extrinsic motivation. That leaves it out of sync with the non-routine, right-brain abilities on which many of the world’s economies now depend. Pink believes that we are wired to be active and engaged rather than passive. Autonomy is a basic human need. People seek it, and it improves their lives. Businesses that offer autonomy grew at four times the rate of control-oriented firms and have one-third the turnover. The best some managers do is widen the fences rather than turn people lose. The very word management is ready for the linguistic ash heap.

The Four Essentials

  • In order to promote Type I behavior, give people autonomy of the four T’s.
  • Task – Companies like Google and 3M that let employees spend 20% of their time working on their own projects see much more innovation.
  • Time – In Results Oriented Work Environments, employees can choose when and where to work. Productivity is higher and turnover is less.
  • Technique – Studies with customer service employees show that if you let them do the job their way, they do a better job, stick around longer, and recruiting costs drop almost to zero as employees seek such companies out.
  • Team – People working on self-organized teams are more satisfied than those working on inherited teams. People high in intrinsic motivation are better coworkers. If you want to work with more Type I’s, become one yourself.

Mastery and Mindset

  • Goals come in two varieties. Performance goals have specific outcomes such as passing a course. Learning goals are open-ended and can lead to mastery. With a learning goal, you don’t have to feel you are good at something to keep trying. To approach mastery of something, you need to have a mindset that tells you the more you work at something, the better you will get. Belief shapes achievement. If you lack belief, mastery is impossible. If you have it, mastery is inevitable.
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One Response to “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink – Updated Summary”

  1. Bella Sarah says:

    Daniel Pink has such a great way of putting things out there. I just listened him on an AoC podcast, and it made me realize that he’s right.

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