I highly recommend reading to the whole book but if you want to learn more even faster, here is a great learning hack.

Many authors give a TED talk or create a YouTube video on the subject of their book. In about 20 minutes, you can get a good idea of the main points and overall direction.

This is Dan Pink’s TED Talk called The puzzle of motivation

Core idea

There is a big gap between what science knows and what business does. Science knows that motivating people with a carrot or stick often doesn’t work. But Business keeps doing exactly that.

When you are motivated to by a reward or by fear of punishment, you feel a level of anxiety to get the task done now. You narrow your focus and you concentrate.

If you are sweeping a floor or putting together parts on an assembly line, then increased focus and concentration is a good thing and will produce more results.

For every other challenge we face, where the path to the solution is unclear and requires creativity, rewards and punishments become blinders and lead to worse performance.

So how do you motivate people without a carrot or stick?

You need to tap into the intrinsic motivation of Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose.


People are intrinsically motivated to get good at things just to get good at them. Have you ever found yourself spending hours solving a puzzle or playing a video game without an external reward?


People love to make their own decisions and are turned off when told what to do.


Throughout history we’ve seen people do extraordinary things for a greater cause. From religious wars, to civil rights movements, to silicon valley startups. Tap into purpose and you will unleash an an ocean of energy you didn’t think possible.

More details in the book

In the book, Pink goes into more detail about:

  • The evolution of motivation systems from Motivation 1.0 to Motivation 3.0
  • Why Carrots and Sticks (often) don’t work
  • Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
  • Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose

Get the book from Amazon

Review from Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a master at distilling the top 5 big ideas from great books. I often use his reviews to screen books before I buy them.

For more wisdom in less time, watch his review of Drive.

About the Author

From his about page

Short Bio: Daniel H. Pink is the author of five provocative books — including three long-running New York Timesbestsellers, A Whole New Mind , Drive , and To Sell Is Human . Dan’s books have been translated into 35 languages and have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.

Other books by Dan Pink

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