Drive summary - available in audiobook and text formats


Daniel H. Pink

Audiobook length: 10m 48s

Download the Athena app to access our expertly crafted Drive summary - available in text and audiobook formats.

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people—at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, the secret to high performance is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

The Bottom Line

External motivation—like monetary rewards—doesn’t work in situations that call for creative thinking. The key to success is internal motivation—and harnessing it to maximum effect.

I. The Secret to High Achievement

In the 1940s, psychologist Harry Harlow discovered something surprising. He put mechanical puzzles inside monkeys’ cages and, without any prompting or tangible reward, the monkeys soon became expert puzzle solvers. It wasn’t a biological drive—the need to eat, drink or reproduce—motivating the primates, nor was it the proverbial carrot or stick—external threats or rewards. Instead, Harlow concluded, the monkeys solved the puzzles because they enjoyed it. They were intrinsically motivated.

Human beings, as Daniel Pink explains in Drive, operate the same way. Rewards and punishments may motivate people to do routine, repetitive tasks, but they don’t help—and can actually hinder performance—with creative ones.

Creativity flourishes when we follow our intrinsic motivation—what Pink, author of several business-oriented books about human behavior, calls the third drive. Understanding and harnessing intrinsic motivation is increasingly important in 21st century business as work becomes more innovative and less routine. Drive, a New York Times bestseller, shares the research supporting the primacy of intrinsic motivation, illustrates how businesses have benefitted by prioritizing that form of motivation, and explains how both companies and individuals can do the same.

II. Carrots and Sticks Are So Last Century

III. Money Matters

IV. The 21st Century Workplace

V. Autonomy Is Essential

VI. Mastery Is the Ultimate Goal

VII. The Power of Purpose

Download the Athena app to access our expertly crafted Drive summary - available in text and audiobook formats.

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