“Drive” By Daniel Pink Will Change the Way You Lead and Motivate

I recently read the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.  Those of you who are connected with me via LinkedIn know that I am a fan of this book, as well as Pink’s book To Sell is Human.

In 10 minutes this video summarizes the book.

Looking over my 15 years as a leader in corporate America, 4 years as an Army officer, 15 years as a parent, and numerous other leadership roles, I do not even need to quote the scientific data Pink does; my leadership successes and failures all support Drive.  Here is what I learned from the book.

1.  Competition and the global nature of business, and the immense amount of knowledge customers have available are forcing businesses to change and bring new and valuable services to customers.  Companies then have to hire and develop people who can think and grow in their skills and abilities at all levels.

2.  The “carrot and stick” model of rewarding desired outcomes and punishing poor performance does not work in this new business environment and scientific data backs this up.

3.  The new approach to motivate, lead and develop a team and thus bring outstanding service and products to customers has 3 essential elements: a) Autonomy – the desire to direct our own work; b) Mastery – the desire to make progress and improve at something that contributes to the organization’s performance; and, c) Purpose – the desire to do something that is bigger than ourselves and contributes to a greater good.

4.  Evaluate your workplace, leadership, team, etc., and even the smallest steps such as changing the way you make suggestions and ask questions can increase Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.  The results could include innovative products and services, loyal customers, a positive work environment, reduced personnel turnover and people reaching their personal and professional goals.

I highly recommend reading the book because the video does not capture Pink’s recommended action steps to identify what motivates you, your drive or purpose, and also how you as a leader can create more autonomy, mastery and purpose with your team.

Joel Junker