Book: DRiVE – Daniel H. Pink Quotes

There are some books that just glue you to the seat. The best books, you keep just an arm’s length away so you can read, re-read, and continually think about and marinate on. DRiVE, by Dan Pink is one of those books.

I’ve read this book a total of 4 times now, and this past time I really wanted to make sure I not only highlighted parts I missed before, but to take notes on them. I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes from the book (and hope it’s not some copy write issues…) Please! I meant no harm, this book just kicks booty!

How this book applies to my work as an Agile Coach is that it helps me better consider how teams, companies, organizations, and systems all work together. It is, after all, people who build software, not technology. The better we understand, empathize, and motivate people correctly, the better products and services will be.

I would highly suggest any organizational change agent, consultant, or coach to read this book. It will considerably change the way you work with people… or… at least, consider them.

My Favorite Quotes from “DRiVE” by Dan Pink

[Caveat to these quotes: Without some context, some of the quotes lack the BOOM they could have. You just have to go out and buy the book :) ]

“The performance of the task, provides the intrinsic reward… The joy of the task is its own reward.” – On Motivation Theory from Harlow [Page 3]

“Human beings have an inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend an exercise their capacities, to explore, and to learn.” – On Motivation Theory from Deci [Page 8]

“The underlying assumption about human behavior was simple and true (50,000 years ago). We were trying to survive.” – On Motivation 1.0 [Page 16]

“That first drive (Motivation 1.0) didn’t fully account for who we are. We also had a second drive – to seek rewards and avoid punishment more broadly.” – On Motivation 2.0 [Page 16]

“Economics isn’t the study of money. It is the study of behavior. We are constantly figuring the cost and benefits of our actions and then deciding how to act.” – [Page 24]

“People are irrational – and predictably so.” – Dan Ariely [Page 25]

“External rewards and punishments – both carrots and sticks – can work nicely for algorithmic tasks. But they can be devastating for heuristic ones.” – Teresa Amabile [Page 28]

“If you need me to motivate you, I probably don’t want to hire you.” – On job interviews [Page 30]

“The best use of money as a motivator is to pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table.” [Page 33]

“Careful consideration of reward effects reported in 128 experiments lead to the conclusion that tangible rewards tend to have a substantially negative effect on intrinsic motivation.” – Deci [Page 37]

“Did the size of the reward to predict the quality of performance?… higher incentives led to worse performance.” [Page 39]

“Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus.” [Page 42]

“Goals may cause systematic problems for organizations due to narrowed focus, unethical behavior, increased risk taking, decreased cooperation, and decreased intrinsic motivation. Use care when applying goals in your organization.” [Page 50]

“External rewards extinguish intrinsic motivation, diminish performance, crush creativity, crowd out good behavior, encourage cheating, become addictive, and foster short-term thinking.” [Page 57]

“For routine tasks, which aren’t very interesting and don’t demand much creative thinking, rewards can provide a small motivational booster shot without the harmful side effects.” [Page 60]

“Allow people to complete a task their own way. Think autonomy, not control.” [Page 62]

“We should focus our efforts on creating environments for our innate psychological needs to flourish.” [Page 70]

“A ROWE environment is a results only work environment.” [Page 84]

“Autonomy is different from independence. It means acting with choice.” [Page 88]

“Hire good people, then leave them alone.” – William McKnight, 3M President in 1930-1940 [Page 93]

“People are drawn to entrepreneurship. It’s the chance to build a team of their own.” [Page 103]

“Ample research has shown that people working in self-organized teams are more satisfied than those working in inherited teams.” [Page 104]

“To help your employees find autonomy, the best strategy for an employer would be to figure out what’s important to each individual employee.” [Page 106]

“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” [Page 108]

“Motivation 3.0 seeks engagement. Only engagement can produce mastery.” [Page 109]

“In an autotelic experience, the goal is self-fulfilling; the activity is its own reward.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi [Page 111]

“Flow is the highest, most satisfying experiences in people’s lives.” [Page 112]

“In flow, people live so deeply in the moment, and feel so utterly in control, that their sense of time, place, and even self melts away.” [Page 113]

“Mastery is a mindset.” [Page 118]

“If people are conscious of what puts them in flow, they’ll have a clearer idea of what they should devote the time and dedication to master.” [Page 123]

“Mastery of [something]  is impossible to realize fully.” [Page 125]

“The joy is in the pursuit more than the realization. In the end, mastery attracts precisely because mastery eludes.” [Page 125]

“Many entrepreneurs, executives, and investors are realizing that the best performing companies stand for something and contribute to the world.” [Page 133]

“Business leaders must find ways to infuse mundane business activities with deeper, soul-stirring ideals, such as honor, truth, love, justice, and beauty.” – Gary Hamel [Page 137]

“Handing individual employees control over how the organization gives back to the community might do more to improve their overall satisfaction from work.” [Page 140]

“Satisfaction depends not merely on having goals, but on having the right goals.” [Page 142]

“One of he reasons for anxiety and depression in the high attainers is that they’re not having good relationships. They’re busy making money and attending to themselves and that means that there’s less room in their lives for love and attention and caring and empathy and the things that truly count.” [Page 143]

“We are designed to be active and engaged.” [Page 145]

“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).” [Page 222]

“Only engagement can product mastery – becoming better at something that matters.” [Page 222]

“Mastery is a mindset: It requires the capacity to see your abilities not as finite, but as infinitely improvable.” [Page 223]

“Within organizations, people need to have purpose: In goals that use profit to reach purpose; in words that emphasize more than self-interest; and in policies that allow people to pursue purpose on their own terms.” [Page 223]

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