Friday, July 23, 2010

Mind and Motivation Book Reviews

July 2010 Book Reviews  

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Daniel H. Pink

Simply put, I thought this was an excellent book. If you’re in a management role, this is a must read. If you’re not, this is great read for personal understanding and can help boost and direct your own road map to successful self-motivation. What I love about this book is the eye opening research, how the author is able to resonate with the reader, and how he outlines a map for improving your own drive or motivation. He talks about how motivation has evolved through time [versions 1.0 (Neanderthals), 2.0 (Industrial Revolution), and 3.0 (Today)] and how people and businesses still believe in the industrial era rewards and punishment form of motivation. He uses research to demonstrate why this perspective no longer applies in today’s work world.

“An incentive designed to clarify thinking and sharpen creativity ended up clouding thinking and dulling creativity. Why? Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus.”

Pink shows us how autonomy, mastery and purpose have a direct impact on one’s motivation and opportunity for success.

Pink on Autonomy: “…people want to be accountable – and that making sure they have control over their task, their time, their technique and their team is a pathway to that destination.”

Pink on Mastery: “…in every field, grit may be as essential as talent to high accomplishment.”

Pink on Purpose: “We know that the richest experiences in our lives aren’t when we’re clamoring for validation from others, but when we’re listening to our own voice – doing something that matters, doing it well, and doing it in the service of a cause larger than ourselves.”

The Fightin' Analyst Book Rating:

out of five stars

The War of Art

Steven Pressfield

It was clear to me after I completed this book, that Seth Godin’s Linchpin was a rewrite of this book. Why am I rewarding Seth with higher ratings? He took the best parts of this book and ran with it. The first two-thirds of this book are excellent, and then the remainder goes off the deep end.

The Fightin' Analyst Book Rating:

out of five stars

The Upside of Irrationality

Dan Ariely

This book is another example of an author that struggles with writing a follow-up book to a wildly successful first book; Predictable Irrational in this case. I somehow convinced myself that this follow-up book would be different. I’d give this book two stars, but my three stars are helping me rationalize the time I spent reading it.

The Fightin' Analyst Book Rating:

out of five stars


Carol S. Dweck

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It’s been referenced in a number of other behavior economic books and the author does a tremendous job of outlining the roots behind certain people’s decisions and outlooks on life. This book is helpful for career development, management, coaching, teaching and parenting. It’s a great set up to Daniel Pink’s Drive.

The Fightin' Analyst Book Rating:

out of five stars