Tuesday Morning Book Review || Drive


Every Tuesday morning, I review a book that I read recently. If you missed any, you can read past reviews here. This week’s book is Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us (kindle version) by Daniel Pink.

Who should read this book:

  1. If you find yourself leading people and wondering how to motivate them, challenge them to do things, reach higher and go longer.
  2. If as a parent, you struggle to motivate your child and can’t seem to get them moving.
  3. If you make goals and never reach them, always giving up.

Pink uses the difference between motivation 2.0 and what he calls motivation 3.0. Motivation 2.0 is what many companies and leaders use, they put a carrot in front of an employee, volunteer or child. If you work this many hours, get this kind of grade, perform in this way, you’ll get the carrot. Which is a treat, more money, prestige or security. If you don’t, you’ll get the stick. The stick is always the threat.

Motivation 3.0 is different. As Pink puts it,

When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system— which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators—doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements: (1) Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery—the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters; and (3) Purpose—the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

Motivation 2.0 does not work. Pink says,

Carrots and sticks can promote bad behavior, create addiction, and encourage short-term thinking at the expense of the long view…When people use rewards to motivate, that’s when they’re most demotivating.

At Revolution, we really seek to challenge our leaders, staff and volunteers with motivation 3.0. For employees, we run the culture of, “get your work done, as long as it takes, get it done.” Some seasons are busier than others. Some weeks are longer and some are shorter. It could take a full-time employee 40 hours one week, 50 another or 35 another. I don’t buy into the the myth that a job has to take 40 hours for it to be a job. That doesn’t motivate anyone. Especially as Pink shows from the success of companies like Best Buy, 3M and others.

This book was helpful to be reminded of how I and others are motivated. Definitely a worthwhile read for leaders.