My full review of Dan Pink’s “Drive”…

…as posted to amazon.com and GoodReads.com.

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I read 39 books in 2009, just “a few” shy of my goal of 50. Thanks to a little nudge from Art Johnson (@artjohnson) and some tips from Julien Smith, I’ve set my 2010 sights just a little bit higher: a book a week, for a total of 52.

I got the list off to a good start this evening when I finished Dan Pink’s latest, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Interestingly, one of the first books I read in 2009 was also one of his, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.

Part Three is the “Type I Toolkit”, which includes suggestions, reading lists, and other tools for individuals and organizations to help them become more Type I. As Pink says, Type I’s are made, not born, and this toolkit can help you remake yourself, or your organization, as a Type I.
Perhaps the most damning statement about the current state of affairs comes in the sentence: “Unfortunately…the modern workplace’s most notable feature may be its lack of engagement and its disregard for mastery.”  Longtime readers of my blogs know that mastery is a concept I’ve long thought and written about. Pink’s chapter on mastery in the context of work pulls together many ideas that I’ve struggled with over the years. This chapter alone was worth the price of the book.
All the rest is an excellent bonus.

Part One of the book explores the evolution of the motivation “operating systems” at play throughout human history and how the science of motivation is leading us to version 3.0 of that Motivation OS. Or, at least, how it should be leading us to this new version. I found it fascinating that much of what Pink describes in the book is not new at all, but has been known for several decades.

Known and ignored. Known and actively buried buy those who just couldn’t believe it or didn’t want to accept what it meant for them and their positions of control within organizations. Fascinating reading.

At the end of Part One, Pink delves into the differences between workers who are intrinsically (Type I) and extrinsically (Type X) motivated, and leads right into Part Two, which explores the three elements that make up Type I behavior: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. The chapters for each of these elements includes some insight into each, along with practical examples of what they mean.

Part Three is the “Type I Toolkit”, which includes suggestions, reading lists, and other tools for individuals and organizations to help them become more Type I. As Pink says, Type I’s are made, not born, and this toolkit can help you remake yourself, or your organization, as a Type I.

Perhaps the most damning statement about the current state of affairs comes in the sentence: “Unfortunately…the modern workplace’s most notable feature may be its lack of engagement and its disregard for mastery.”  Longtime readers of my blogs know that mastery is a concept I’ve long thought and written about. Pink’s chapter on mastery in the context of work pulls together many ideas that I’ve struggled with over the years. This chapter alone was worth the price of the book.

All the rest is an excellent bonus.

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Sorry for the partial repetition. I posted this full review here to kick off my participation in Robin’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, which I learned about from Jack Vinson’s wrap up of his 2009 reading list.

7 thoughts on “My full review of Dan Pink’s “Drive”…

  1. Thanks, Robin. I’m looking forward to participating in the challenge. Signing up for something with others definitely provides that little boost of incentive that will get me started and keep me going.

    When I started up this blog (my 2d or 3d), I was thinking that I wouldn’t write much about autism. But I found that it is such an integral part of my life that it can’t really be separated out. Definitely a challenge.

  2. Welcome to the 52 Books Challenge. Drive certainly sounds intriguing. I’ve been perusing your blog and you certainly have some interesting things to say. I have a son whose borderline aspergers and gifted, so the helicopter mom post was quite interesting. I think I fall somewhere between slow parent and the helicopter. Look forward to hearing about the books you read and your insights.

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