Drive | Daniel Pink

I’m torn about how to write this review. I think I’ll have to proceed with two perspectives:

1. The Idea. Despite the mild hyperbole in the subtitle (“The Surprising Truth”), the thesis of Pink’s book is inspirational and well-grounded. Motivating people with sticks and carrots doesn’t work like we assume. People these days are more driven by a desire for autonomy, a desire for mastery, and a desire to add value to life.

This is the sort of idea that can take root and change the way you look at your own life, not to mention the obvious application for management. I put the book down a few weeks ago, and I’m still mulling over the application. Five out of five for popularizing this idea.

2. The Format. This shouldn’t be a book. It’s more suited for weekend conference lecture fodder. I could almost see the PowerPoint presentation in the back of my mind as I read. The book is a string of illustrations and examples that support his idea.

My problem with the book crystallized during the appendix where he offers a Twitter summary, a cocktail party summary, and a chapter-by-chapter summary of his work. The Twitter summary nails it, the cocktail party summary fleshes it out, and the chapter-by-chapter summary seems like overkill. If you can reduce your book to 140 characters, do you really need to write the rest of the pages?

Perhaps this is just my frustration with the format of modern business / self-help books. If so, disregard and enjoy.

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