Review: Drive by Daniel Pink

Drive provided clarity to what makes me tick.  What is it about me that can’t get enough of the work that I do?  It is the intrinsic motivation that I experience when I am in flow, challenged with a Goldilocks Task and benefiting from the Sawyer Effect.

Drive clearly lays out the three types of motivation:

  • biological
  • rewards & punishments – this may cause a caffeine-like effect (an initial jolt that wears off quickly) and works best for algorithmic tasks.
  • intrinsic motivation – this is what drives open source work and works best for heuristic tasks.  These people find themselves on Vocation Vacations – when people use their vacation time to work on something engaging (p. 29).

Type I behavior (intrinsically motivated, devoted to becoming better and better at something that matters) depends on:

  • autonomy – this is the powerful 20% time that produced the Post-It note
  • mastery – this is when you find yourself in flow – that perfect spot between what you have to do and what you can do
    • assign these people Goldilocks Tasks – challenges that are not too hot and not too cold, neither overly difficult not overly simple (p. 116).
    • reap the positive rewards of the Sawyer Effect – practices that can turn work into play (p. 117)
  • purpose – think about Toms shoes charity <–> business

This is me.  Type I.  This is the niche I work toward and recognize when I am there.

As an instructional leader, I wonder how I can use what I know about motivation to help others… provide autonomy, become keenly aware of mastery and the gap between an individual’s knowledge/experience and that which is required by the given task, and think bigger picture – toward purpose.

My notes from my reading are below.




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