What Motivates You?

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There are some people who do the heavy lifting when it comes to thinking about why human beings do the things we do.

Dan Pink (aka Daniel H. Pink) is one of those thinkers. He’s the author of some of the best (and best-selling) business books like Free Agent Nation, A Whole New Mind, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko (the first American business book done in Japanese manga) and his recently-released hit, Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Here’s how his Blog describes Drive:

"Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does — and how that affects every aspect of life. He demonstrates that while carrots and sticks worked successfully in the twentieth century, that’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. In Drive, he examines the three elements of true motivation — autonomy, mastery, and purpose — and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action. Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward. Drive is bursting with big ideas — the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live."

Do you think Google knows what motivates people?

During a recent promotional book tour, Pink stopped off at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California (on January 15th, 2010), for an amazing Google Talk. You can watch the one-hour presentation right here (and yes, it’s well worth the time commitment): YouTube – Leading@Google – Daniel Pink.

P.S. – Pink is also a contributing editor at Wired Magazine.


  1. Fascinating talk on motivation….
    I’m 40 years of age and have been working since I have been 15. I’ve been to many companies and can honestly say that from my point of view, the companies I worked for knew nothing about motivation, its a revolving door syndrome and still goes on today. Sad part is that small business is even worse at motivation. Everything is about the bottom line and people are looked as liabilities as opposed to assets…I can write a book on this subject!
    Funny thing is that when you become unemployed, you are required to attend sessions with the unemployment office in order to qualify for U.I insurance. These sessions basically teach you that it was your fault for getting fired. Imagine that, government workers telling you how lazy and unproductive you’ve been.
    From a distant and from what I’ve read and heard google is the company to work for, sadly we don’t have enough of these companies in Canada, if any at all! The problem is and always will be about the bottom line.

  2. Thanks Mitch. That’s a great video. Imagine working at a place with guest speakers like Dan Pink.
    I just listened to A Whole New Mind a couple of months ago. Dan makes compelling arguments for why the era of left brainers (gulp!) is ending. His new book looks promising too.

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