Review of Daniel Pink’s “Drive”

Drive by Daniel PinkOver the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading and enjoying Daniel Pink’s latest book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” I received a review copy of “Drive.” But this is a book I would have purchased on my own because I like Daniel Pink for his insight, trend-watching and quality of writing.

Normally, book reviews are straightforward and relatively easy to write. But this book is so full of critical information for small business that I’ve been struggling with how to share it all with you in a way that will inspire you to manage differently with better results and happier employees.

Your Motivation “Operating System” Needs an Upgrade

What drives any of us to perform at our best? Is it money, fear of punishment, reward or is it something more than that? I can’t say that I had really thought too much about motivation unless it had to do with getting my son to clean his room and his bathroom. But once I started reading “Drive”, I realized that Pink was right. It was time to upgrade my “Operating System” from one that has been too narrowly focused on reward and punishment to one that appealed to something bigger inside all of us; our intrinsic need for autonomy, mastery and purpose.

How to Get the Most Out of Drive

I would recommend that you start your reading experience by taking in the table of contents. Instead of just chapters and pages, each chapter has a short description of what’s included and will whet your appetite for what’s to come.

Next, read the introduction because this is where Pink skillfully lays the framework within which he weaves his story and argument for changing how we work and manage.

The introduction also explains the meaning behind the title “Drive.” The first drive is biological. It is the most basic and primitive and includes the need for food, drink, shelter and basic survival. The second drive is more external; reward and punishment. This is where psychologists, managers and parents have spent most of their time. But then, when a group of monkeys started playing with puzzles with enjoyment and focus, scientists realized that there might be another drive in all of us. This third drive is focused on the pure joy of performing the task. Pink explores all the different ways that this third drive expresses itself and the results both people and organizations achieved when they opened themselves up to this third drive.

The book is divided into three parts:

  • Part I : A New Operating System: This section gives context and perspective. It will prepare you for the information that is yet to come.
  • Part II: The Three Elements: Now that you understand the need for an upgrade, the second section goes into a great bit of detail, supported by studies and real-life examples, of how autonomy, mastery and purpose can drive performance, fulfillment and profits way up.
  • Part III: The Type I Toolkit: This is where you get the opportunity to put all your learning into action. This section includes: Strategies for Awakening Motivation, Paying People the Type I way, a reading list of 15 Essential Books, and 4 Tips for Getting and Staying Motivated to Exercise (for those of you who have set a fitness goal in the new year).

Drive is Worth Savoring

I loved reading “Drive”. It was like walking into a buffet where I nibbled on stories, case studies and examples from business, economics, psychology, sociology and science about what drives us to perform at our best. If you’re looking for a creative way to drive your performance up while the rest of the economy is down, “Drive “ will deliver on both ideas, inspiration and insight.

[Editor’s Note:  This book’s publisher is a recent advertiser here at Small Business Trends.  However, the reviewer has zero input into advertising decisions.]

Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."