Drive Summary

BookSummaryClub Blog Drive Summary

The lowdown: Learn what motivates us, and learn how to use this knowledge to help keep motivation with this Drive summary.

If you look at the amount of time humans have been around, for most of it, motivation hasn’t been much of an issue.

Our main motivation was… well, to not die.

Which, unless you’re an emo kid, is pretty strong as far as motivators go.


Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Daniel H. Pink (Author) – Daniel H. Pink (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/29/2009 (Publication Date) – Penguin Audio (Publisher)

Since those days of battling death every day, another form of motivation has come in to play… this is either a punishment or reward from a third party.

In Drive, however, we look at a new way to motivate…. Replacing intrinsic motivation instead of external incentives. The three main lessons are:

  1. Use intrinsic motivation
  2. The stick and carrot approach has harmful consequences
  3. A drive for perfection leads to passion
drive summary

Lesson One: Use intrinsic motivation

There are plenty of ways that we can explain how belonging and finding your work fulfilling can be the best motivation.

But to do it quickly, let’s compare two competing information platforms: Wikipedia and Microsoft Encarta.

If I had told you 20 years ago that there would be two internet-based encyclopedias; one was owned by bloody Microsoft, and the other relied on people volunteering, I bet you would pick the first to stand the test of time.

However, Encarta folded years ago, while Wikipedia is one of the most famous websites ever created. Why?

Well, those amazing souls who contribute to Wikipedia because the find it fulfilling. Intrinsically motivated people to do so because they enjoy it and can dictate what they do.

Lesson Two: The stick and carrot approach has harmful consequences

We often find that we motivate others with either a stick or a carrot: a reward or a punishment.

However, in most cases, this doesn’t work.

Take a mechanic for example, if they have a reward to reach a certain amount of repairs a month they will likely look to find unnecessary repairs for customers.

This revenue-hunting usually leads to upset customers and is poor performance.

Adding rewards can sometimes add unnecessary pressure to an employee, clouding their judgment and stifling creativity.

Unless you’re dealing with basic and routine actions, the stick and carrot approach doesn’t work.

Lesson Three: A drive for perfection leads to passion

There is a reason that basketballers want to hoop every day. It is the same reason a photographer never finishes taking photos, or why a golfer is always looking to get better.

The inner drive for perfection is what is driving them to get consistently better.

If you love what you do, then you will naturally want to get better at it.

If you take away creativity and room for learning, then you take any room away to create that passion.

My Personal Takeaway

Knowing about what motivates people is a great tool to have in my business. I should look to bring in new parts of this intrinsic motivating factors into my business.

Did this summary excite you?

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Put it into action

Give your employees a say! By involving your employees in the decision-making process, you can give them ownership of their work. Find what makes your team passionate and let them incorporate that into their job.

You should consider buying this book if…

This book is ideal for business owners and leaders of any kind.

Or, read our other business book summaries.

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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