Landrum Human Resource Companies Blog

Book Review: “Drive” – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

June 5, 2012

Book Review:  “Drive” – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us | Author: Dan Pink  Copyright:  2009

Landrum’s Vice-President and COO of Landrum Employer Services, Ted Kirchharr, shares his review of Daniel Pink’s bestseller, “Drive” .

Brief summary:  Pink looks at forty years’ worth of academic research on human motivation and comes to a startling conclusion: what we thought we knew about what motives us is likely not the case at all. In fact, monetary incentives can actually DECREASE performance. Instead Pink makes a case for autonomy, mastery and purpose as the true keys to motivation.     

Share a quote from the book:  “Over and over again, they discovered that extrinsic rewards-in particular, contingent, expected, “if-then” rewards-snuffed out the third drive. . . in 1999 Deci and two colleagues reanalyzed nearly three decades of studies on the subject to confirm the findings. “Careful consideration of reward effects reported in 128 experiments lead to the conclusion that tangible rewards tend to have substantially negative effect on intrinsic motivation.”

Have you used something you learned from this book at work?  After reading the book I’m very much convinced that autonomy, mastery and purpose have wide application in both my personal as well as my professional life. For a number of years I’ve been aware of the need for purpose in work and life, Pink’s work has helped me have real insight into the need for autonomy and mastery. Connecting our work with purpose, allowing the team the autonomy needed to complete the task, with the tools and time to develop mastery makes as much sense at home as it does on the job. 

Additional comments about this book:  Great book, well worth reading. Be sure and check out page 237 in the paperback version.


As Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Landrum Employer Services and Landrum Consulting, Ted is responsible for Landrum’s strategic planning, benefits administration, risk management, human resources and marketing.  He has helped hundreds of organizations pursue strategic planning, institute quality management, hone organizational development, instill leadership training and improve employee engagement.  
Ted will serve as the District Governor for Rotary District 6940 during the 2013-14 Rotary year.  He is Past President of the Florida Sterling Council.  Ted has a Master’s in Administration from Central Michigan University.

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