Bookbinge: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink


A few weeks ago I completed, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink.  It’s a great book about what motivates us and how to motivate yourself, employees, or organization in the modern ear. Here are some of my notes from the books. I highly recommend.  I suggest you read it yourself to figure out ways motivation works in today’s economy.

Drive focuses on the third drive of human behavior.  It was proceeded by two other drives.

Based on Harry Harlow and Edward Deci Three Drives

First Drive: Biological drive includes hunger, thirst, and sex

Second Drive: Response to rewards and punishments in our environment.

Third Drive: Intrinsic Motivation

Daniel Pink labels these three Drives as Motivations:

(performance of the task. Joy of the task is the reward.)

Motivation 1.0 = Survival Motivation

Motivation 2.0 = External rewards and punishments (carrots and sticks)

This type of motivation works fine for routine tasks but it’s not ideal for how we organize what we do, how we think about what we do, and how we do what we do in today’s world. Motivation 2.0 worked well for the industrial revolution. In a time where factory workers had to complete simple routine tasks.

Motivation 3.0 = The way to motivate individuals in the new more creative work that many professionals do everyday. In this line of work carrot and stick rewards are demotivating and encourage the unethical behavior.

This doesn’t mean all rewards are bad. “Now that” rewards given after a task is complete can be more effective if they also provide useful information about performance.

In the last three chapters of his book, Dan lays out the three key elements of Motivation 3.0.

  1. Autonomy
  2. Mastery
  3. Purpose

Dan also describes two types of behavior: Type X & Type I. Motivation 3.0 fosters Type I behavior.  Type I is less concerned with external rewards and more concerned with inherent satisfaction of the activity.  You are not born with either Type I or Type X.  You can always become a Type I.  Type I behavior promotes greater health, stronger performance, and overall well-being.

The three elements help create Type I behavior.


To encourage autonomy people need autonomy over task (what they do), time (when they do it), team (who they do it with), and technique (how they do it).


There are three rules to Mastery:

  1. Mastery is a mindset: It requires the capacity to see your abilities not as finite, but as infinitely improvable.
  2. Mastery is a pain: It demands effort, grit, and deliberate practice.
  3. Mastery is an asymptote: It’s impossible to fully realize, which makes it simultaneously frustrating and alluring.


What is purpose?

A cause greater and more enduring than themselves.

In organizations, this new “Purpose Motive” is expressing itself in three ways:
1) in goals that use profit to reach purpose
2) in words that emphasize more than self-interest
3) in policies that allow people to pursue purpose on their own terms.

Motivation 3.0- Purpose maximization is taking place alongside profit maximization as an aspiration and a guiding principle.

The move to accompany profit maximization with purpose maximization has the potential to rejuvenate out businesses and remake our world.