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Recommended by Bill

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

Another of my used bookstore finds. The title was definitely intriguing, so I handed over my four dollars.

I've attended any number of leadership classes where someone stands in front of you and tells you that "people don't work for money." (I've always disagreed with this and told the lecturer/instructor so. I most definitely work for money. If you stop paying me, I'll have to find someone else who will pay me. Gotta eat. Gotta pay the bills.)

What I think those instructors were trying to say is that people don't do great work for money. That motivation, to do extraordinary things, is inside every one of us. As the author Pink writes, "Have you ever seen a six-month old or a three-year-old who's not curious and self-directed?...That's how we are out of the box. If, at age fourteen or forty-three, we're passive and inert...it's because something flipped our default setting."

I've had a long standing debate with myself about whether you can truly motivate someone else, or whether all motivation comes from within. (I can beat you with a stick and get you to do something, but that's a corrupted kind of motivation.) There are lots of great ideas in this book about unlocking a person's self motivation. In fact, the last chapter of the book is a toolkit with ideas to find your spark, or maybe your coworker's. I think it's definitely worth your time.

Recommended for all ranks