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Compiled by Chuck Olson

DriveTitle: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Author: Daniel H. Pink

Copyright: 2009

Book Description:

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 new and paradigm-­‐shattering book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world 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.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does-­‐ -­‐and how that affects every aspect of our lives. He demonstrates that while the old-­‐fashioned carrot-­‐and-­‐stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. In Drive, he reveals the three elements of true motivation: * Autonomy-­‐ -­‐ the desire to direct our own lives * Mastery-­‐ -­‐ the urge to get better and better at something that matters * Purpose-­‐ -­‐ the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.

Drive is bursting with big ideas-­‐ -­‐the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.

Book Quotes: 

For too long, there’s been a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. The goal of this book is to repair that breach. location 169

For as long as any of us can remember, we’ve configured our organizations and constructed our lives around its bedrock assumption: The way to improve performance, increase productivity, and encourage excellence is to reward the good and punish the bad. location 252

Our current operating system has become far less compatible with, and at times downright antagonistic to: how we organize what we do; how we think about what we do; and how we do what we do. location 275

In other words, companies that typically rely on external rewards to manage their employees run some of their most important systems with products created by nonemployees who don’t seem to need such rewards. location 289

In other words, to fully understand human economic behavior, we have to come to terms with an idea at odds with Motivation 2.0. As Frey writes, “Intrinsic motivation is of great importance for all economic activities. It is inconceivable that people are motivated solely or even mainly by external incentives.” location 379

The consulting firm McKinsey and Co. estimates that in the United States, only 30 percent of job growth now comes from algorithmic work, while 70 percent comes from heuristic work. A key reason: Routine work can be outsourced or automated; artistic, empathic, nonroutine work generally cannot. location 404

In direct contravention to the core tenets of Motivation 2.0, an incentive designed to clarify thinking and sharpen creativity ended up clouding thinking and dulling creativity. Why? Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus. That’s helpful when there’s a clear path to a solution. They help us stare ahead and race faster. But “if-­‐then” motivators are terrible for challenges like the candle problem. As this experiment shows, the rewards narrowed people’s focus and blinkered the wide view that might have allowed them to see new uses for old objects. location 587

This result is not true across all tasks, of course. Amabile and others have found that extrinsic rewards can be effective for algorithmic tasks—those that depend on following an existing formula to its logical conclusion. But for more right-­‐brain undertakings—those that demand flexible problem-­‐solving, inventiveness, or conceptual understanding—contingent rewards can be dangerous. Rewarded subjects often have a harder time seeing the periphery and crafting original solutions. location 614

In the upside-­‐down universe of the third drive, rewards can often produce less of the very things they’re trying to encourage. But that’s not the end of the story. When used improperly, extrinsic motivators can have another unintended collateral consequence: They can give us more of what we don’t want. Here, again, what business does hasn’t caught up with what science knows. And what science is revealing is that carrots and sticks can promote bad behavior, create addiction, and encourage short-­‐term thinking at the expense of the long view. location 658

Goals that people set for themselves and that are devoted to attaining mastery are usually healthy. But goals imposed by others—sales targets, quarterly returns, standardized test scores, and so on—can sometimes have dangerous side effects. location 670

The problem with making an extrinsic reward the only destination that matters is that some people will choose the quickest route there, even if it means taking the low road. location 681

Contrast that approach with behavior sparked by intrinsic motivation. When the reward is the activity itself—deepening learning, delighting customers, doing one’s best—there are no shortcuts. The only route to the destination is the high road. In some sense, it’s impossible to act unethically because the person who’s disadvantaged isn’t a competitor but yourself. location 686

The essential requirement: Any extrinsic reward should be unexpected and offered only after the task is complete. location 892

Holding out a prize at the beginning of a project—and offering it as a contingency—will inevitably focus people’s attention on obtaining the reward rather than on attacking the problem. But introducing the subject of rewards after the job is done is less risky. In other words, where “if-­‐then” rewards are a mistake, shift to “now that” rewards—as in “Now that you’ve finished the poster and it turned out so well, I’d like to celebrate by taking you out to lunch.” location 893

But keep in mind one ginormous caveat: Repeated “now that” bonuses can quickly become expected “if-­‐ then” entitlements—which can ultimately crater effective performance. location 904

But you’ll do even better if you follow two more guidelines. First, consider nontangible rewards. Praise and positive feedback are much less corrosive than cash and trophies. location 906

Second, provide useful information. Amabile has found that while controlling extrinsic motivators can clobber creativity, “informational or enabling motivators can be conducive” to it. In the workplace, people are thirsting to learn about how they’re doing, but only if the information isn’t a tacit effort to manipulate their behavior. So don’t tell the design team: “That poster was perfect. You did it exactly the way I asked.” Instead, give people meaningful information about their work. location 912

In brief, for creative, right-­‐brain, heuristic tasks, you’re on shaky ground offering “if-­‐then” rewards. You’re better off using “now that” rewards. And you’re best off if your “now that” rewards provide praise, feedback, and useful information. location 918

Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-­‐determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives. location 964

Intrinsically motivated people usually achieve more than their reward-­‐seeking counterparts. location 1049

Ultimately, Type I behavior depends on three nutrients: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Type I behavior is self-­‐directed. It is devoted to becoming better and better at something that matters. And it connects that quest for excellence to a larger purpose. location 1074

And what a few future-­‐facing businesses are discovering is that one of these essential features is autonomy—in particular, autonomy over four aspects of work: what people do, when they do it, how they do it, and whom they do it with. As Atlassian’s experience shows, Type I behavior emerges when people have autonomy over the four T’s: their task, their time, their technique, and their team. location 1211

In the 1930s and 1940s, 3M’s president and chairman was William McKnight, a fellow who was as unassuming in his manner as he was visionary in his thinking. McKnight believed in a simple, and at the time, subversive, credo: “Hire good people, and leave them alone.” location 1225

Autonomy over task is one of the essential aspects of the Motivation 3.0 approach to work. location 1268

Without sovereignty over our time, it’s nearly impossible to have autonomy over our lives. location 1328

Enterprising souls might be able to scratch out some autonomy over task, time, and technique—but autonomy over team is a taller order. That’s one reason people are drawn to entrepreneurship—the chance to build a team of their own. location 1380

Motivation 2.0 assumed that if people had freedom, they would shirk—and that autonomy was a way to bypass accountability. Motivation 3.0 begins with a different assumption. It presumes that people want to be accountable—and that making sure they have control over their task, their time, their technique, and their team is a pathway to that destination. location 1414

Where Motivation 2.0 sought compliance, Motivation 3.0 seeks engagement. Only engagement can produce mastery. And the pursuit of mastery, an important but often dormant part of our third drive, has become essential in making one’s way in today’s economy. location 1467

In the midst of play, many people enjoyed what Csikszentmihalyi called “autotelic experiences”—from the Greek auto (self) and telos (goal or purpose). In an autotelic experience, the goal is self-­‐fulfilling; the activity is its own reward. location 1495

From these results, Csikszentmihalyi began to peel back the layers of those autotelic experiences. Perhaps equally significant, he replaced that wonky Greek-­‐derived adjective with a word he found people using to describe these optimal moments: flow. The highest, most satisfying experiences in people’s lives were when they were in flow. location 1515

In flow, people lived so deeply in the moment, and felt so utterly in control, that their sense of time, place, and even self melted away. They were autonomous, of course. But more than that, they were engaged. They were, as the poet W. H. Auden wrote, “forgetting themselves in a function.” location 1523

“The desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences, or business.” -­‐ TERESA AMABILE, Professor, Harvard University location 1534

In addition, a study of 11,000 industrial scientists and engineers working at companies in the United States found that the desire for intellectual challenge—that is, the urge to master something new and engaging— was the best predictor of productivity. location 1559

Flow is essential to mastery. But flow doesn’t guarantee mastery—because the two concepts operate on different horizons of time. One happens in a moment; the other unfolds over months, years, sometimes decades. You and I each might reach flow tomorrow morning—but neither one of us will achieve mastery overnight. location 1593

Dweck’s signature insight is that what people believe shapes what people achieve. Our beliefs about ourselves and the nature of our abilities—what she calls our “self-­‐theories”—determine how we interpret our experiences and can set the boundaries on what we accomplish. location 1603

The best predictor of success, the researchers found, was the prospective cadets’ ratings on a noncognitive, non-­‐physical trait known as “grit”—defined as “perseverance and passion for long-­‐term goals.” The experience of these army officers-­‐in-­‐training confirms the second law of mastery: Mastery is a pain. As wonderful as flow is, the path to mastery—becoming ever better at something you care about—is not lined with daisies and spanned by a rainbow. If it were, more of us would make the trip. Mastery hurts. Sometimes—many times—it’s not much fun. location 1656

Mastery—of sports, music, business—requires effort (difficult, painful, excruciating, all-­‐consuming effort) over a long time (not a week or a month, but a decade). Sociologist Daniel Chambliss has referred to this as “the mundanity of excellence.” Like Ericsson, Chambliss found—in a three-­‐year study of Olympic swimmers—that those who did the best typically spent the most time and effort on the mundane activities that readied them for races. It’s the same reason that, in another study, the West Point grit researchers found that grittiness—rather than IQ or standardized test scores—is the most accurate predictor of college grades. location 1663

In the end, mastery attracts precisely because mastery eludes. location 1698

Forty-­‐eight hours without flow plunged people into a state eerily similar to a serious psychiatric disorder. The experiment suggests that flow, the deep sense of engagement that Motivation 3.0 calls for, isn’t a nicety. It’s a necessity. We need it to survive. It is the oxygen of the soul. location 1728

And one of Csikszentmihalyi’s more surprising findings is that people are much more likely to reach that flow state at work than in leisure. Work can often have the structure of other autotelic experiences: clear goals, immediate feedback, challenges well matched to our abilities. And when it does, we don’t just enjoy it more, we do it better. location 1730

The first two legs of the Type I tripod, autonomy and mastery, are essential. But for proper balance we need a third leg—purpose, which provides a context for its two mates. Autonomous people working toward mastery perform at very high levels. But those who do so in the service of some greater objective can achieve even more. The most deeply motivated people—not to mention those who are most productive and satisfied—hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves. location 1783

These diverging lines—compensated engagement going down, uncompensated effort going up—suggest that volunteer work is nourishing people in ways that paid work simply is not. location 1802

This is the final big distinction between the two operating systems. Motivation 2.0 centered on profit maximization. Motivation 3.0 doesn’t reject profits, but it places equal emphasis on purpose maximization. location 1805

“One cannot lead a life that is truly excellent without feeling that one belongs to something greater and more permanent than oneself.” MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI location 1929

Note: should you wish to find any quote in its original context, the Kindle “location” is provided after each entry.

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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