Daniel H. Pink (born July 23, 1964) is an American author. He has written six books, four of them The New York Times bestsellers. He was a host and a co-executive producer of the 2014 National Geographic Channel social science TV series Crowd Control. From 1995 to 1997, he was the chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore.
PassionYou know, I'm not a huge fan of the concept of 'passion' when it comes to careers. Instead of trying to answer the daunting question of 'What's your passion?' it's better simply to watch what you do when you've got time of your own and nobody's looking.
ArtFor artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation-the drive to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing-is essential for high levels of creativity.
FreedomThe ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas.
IdeaFreedomThe ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. Some skeptics insist that innovation is expensive. In the long run, innovation is cheap. Mediocrity is expensive—and autonomy can be the antidote.
My generation's parents told their children, "Become an accountant, a lawyer, or an engineer; that will give you a solid foothold in the middle class." But these jobs are now being sent overseas. So in order to make it today, you have to do work that's hard to outsource, hard to automate.
To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.
Questions are often more effective than statements in moving others. Or to put it more appropriately, since the research shows that when the facts are on your side, questions are more persuasive than statements, don't you think you should be pitching more with questions?
If you understand the independent worker, the self-employed professional, the freelancer, the e-lancer, the temp, you understand how work and business in the U.S. operate today.
Rewards can deliver a short-term boost—just as a jolt of caffeine can keep you cranking for a few more hours. But the effect wears off—and, worse, can reduce a person’s longer-term motivation to continue the project.
But in the end, mastery involves working and working and showing little improvement, perhaps with a few moments of flow pulling you along, then making a little progress, and then working and working on that new, slightly higher plateau again. It's grueling, to be sure. But that's not the problem; that's the solution.
The ultimate pitch for an era of short attention spans begins with a single word - and doesn't go any further.
We have this myth that extroverts are better salespeople. As a result, extroverts are more likely to enter sales; extroverts are more likely to get promoted in sales jobs. But if you look at the correlation between extroversion and actual sales performance - that is, how many times the cash register actually rings - the correlation's almost zero.
Symphony is the ability to see the big picture, connect the dots, combine disparate things into something new. Visual artists in particular are good at seeing how the pieces come together. I experienced this myself by trying to learn to draw.
Harness the power of peers.
The right brain is finally being taken seriously.
It's nothing short of a whole new brain... animated by a different form of thinking and a new approach to life.
Large companies are not going to disappear. Multinational companies with tens of thousands of employees are not going to disappear. In fact, many of them are getting larger because they can benefit from economies of scale.
Especially for fostering creative, conceptual work, the best way to use money as a motivator is to take the issue of money off the table so people concentrate on the work.
There's an idea out there that salespeople have actually been obliterated by the Internet, which is just not supported by the facts.
The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind-computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands.The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind-creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers.These people-artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers-will now reap society's richest rewards and share its greatest joys.
If you want people to perform better, you reward them, right? Bonuses, commissions, their own reality show. Incentivize them. [...] But that's not happening here. You've got an incentive designed to sharpen thinking and accelerate creativity, and it does just the opposite. It dulls thinking and blocks creativity.
Were born to be players, not pawns.
When the reward is the activity itself--deepening learning, delighting customers, doing one's best--there are no shortcuts.
While complying can be an effective strategy for physical survival, it's a lousy one for personal fulfillment. Living a satisfying life requires more than simply meeting the demands of those in control. Yet in our offices and our classrooms we have way too much compliance and way too little engagement. The former might get you through the day, but only the latter will get you through the night.
Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon.
Empathy is about standing in someone else's shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.
Money can extinguish intrinsic motivation, diminish performance, crush creativity, encourage unethical behavior, foster short-term thinking, and become addictive.
Intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity; controlling extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity.
The misuse of extrinsic rewards, so common in business, impedes creativity, stifles personal satisfaction and turns play into work.
Goals may cause systematic problems for organizations due to narrowed focus, unethical behavior, increased risk taking, decreased cooperation, and decreased intrinsic motivation. Use care when applying goals in your organization.
As Carol Dweck says, “Effort is one of the things that gives meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it. It would be an impoverished existence if you were not willing to value things and commit yourself to working toward them.
Today it’s economically crucial and personally rewarding to create something that is also beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging.
For many of us, the opposite of talking isn't listening. It's waiting. When others speak, we typically divide our attention between what they're saying now and what we're going to say next - and end up doing a mediocre job at both.
One of the best predictors of ultimate success in either sales or non - sales selling isn't natural talent or even industry expertise, but how you explain your failures and rejections.
One source of frustration in the workplace is the frequent mismatch between what people must do and what people can do. When what they must do exceeds their capabilities, the result is anxiety. When what they must do falls short of their capabilities, the result is boredom. But when the match is just right, the results can be glorious. This is the essence of flow.
What do artists do? Artists give people something they didn't know they were missing: a dance, a piece of music, a painting, a piece of sculpture. Catering to that need is the best business strategy.
The problem with making an extrinsic reward the only destination that matters is that some people will choose the quickest route there, even if it means taking the low road. Indeed, most of the scandals and misbehavior that have seemed endemic to modern life involve shortcuts.
The capacity to see the big picture is perhaps the most important as an antidote to the variety of psychic woes brought forth by the remarkable prosperity and plentitude of our times. Many of us are crunched for time, deluged by information, and paralyzed by the weight of too many choices. The best prescription for these modern maladies may be to approach one's own life in a contextual, big picture fashion - to distinguish between what really matters and what merely annoys.
I think the more important task for a young person than developing a personal brand is figuring out what she's great at, what she loves to do, and how she can use that to leave an imprint in the world. Those are tough questions, but essential ones. Answer those - and the personal brand follows.
In many professions, what used to matter most were abilities associated with the left side of the brain: linear, sequential, spreadsheet kind of faculties. Those still matter, but they're not enough.
Abstract thinking leads to greater creativity... But in our businesses and our lives, we often do the opposite. We intensify our focus rather than widen our view.
The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic 'right-brain' thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't.
Carry a notebook and write down examples of good and poor design. After a week, you'll begin to realize that nearly everything is the product of a design decision.
The billable hours is a classic case of restricted autonomy. I mean, you're working on - I mean, sometimes on these six-minute increments. So you're not focused on doing a good job. You're focused on hitting your numbers. It's one reason why lawyers typically are so unhappy. And I want a world of happy lawyers.
A lot of white-collar work requires less of the routine, rule-based, what we might call algorithmic set of capabilities, and more of the harder-to-outsource, harder-to-automate, non-routine, creative, juristic - as the scholars call it - abilities.
Financial firms are sending their back-office jobs overseas. But what do fine artists do? They create something new, unexpected, and delightful that changes the world. MFA abilities are harder to outsource and more important in an abundant world.
I think people get satisfaction from living for a cause that's greater than themselves. They want to leave an imprint. By writing books, I'm trying to do that in a modest way.
In economic terms, we've always thought of work as a disutility - as something you do to get something else. Now it's increasingly a utility - something that's valuable and worthy in its own right.
The ability to take another perspective has become one of the keys to both sales and non-sales selling. And the social science research on perspective-taking yields some important lessons for all of us.
What's important now are the characteristics of the brain's right hemisphere: artistry, empathy, inventiveness, big-picture thinking. These skills have become first among equals in a whole range of business fields.
Experimentalists never know when their work is finished.
One aspect of play is the importance of laughter, which has physiological and psychological benefits. Did you know that there are thousands of laughter clubs around the world? People get together and laugh for no reason at all!
Anytime you're tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you're doing and upserve instead.
The teacher showed us how to see proportions, relationships, light and shadow, negative space, and space between space - something I never noticed before! In one week, I went from not knowing how to draw to sketching a detailed portrait. It literally changed the way I see things.
I don't think it's a Western thing to really talk about intrinsic motivation and the drive for autonomy, mastery and purpose. You have to not be struggling for survival. For people who don't know where their next meal is coming, notions of finding inner motivation are comical.
What is interesting is that John Lewis actually got interested initially in the civil rights movement because of a comic book. So part of it, he's paying homage to this tradition that you can tell serious stories and talk about serious issues in graphic form.
Asking "Why?" can lead to understanding. Asking "Why not?" can lead to breakthroughs.
The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers.
Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.
Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.
The three things that motivate creative people - autonomy, mastery, purpose!
All of us want to be part of something bigger than ourselves, something that matters.
We live in a world of breathtaking material plenty. That has freed hundreds of millions of people from day-to-day struggles and liberated us to pursue more significant desires: purpose, transcendence, and spiritual fulfillment.
Most of what we know about sales comes from a world of information asymmetry, where for a very long time sellers had more information than buyers. That meant sellers could hoodwink buyers, especially if buyers did not have a lot of choices or a way to talk back.
Tens of millions of people have iPods, whereas eight years ago, they didn't know they were missing them.
Create some psychological space between you and your project by imagining you're doing it for someone else or contemplating what advice you'd give to another person in your predicament.
"Mad" magazine is like one of my few formative experiences, absolutely. "Mad" magazine teaches a whole generation of people to be irreverent toward power.
I say, 'Get me some poets as managers.' Poets are our original systems thinkers. They contemplate the world in which we live and feel obligated to interpret, and give expression to it in a way that makes the reader understand how that world runs. Poets, those unheralded systems thinkers, are our true digital thinkers. It is from their midst that I believe we will draw tomorrow's new business leaders." --Sidney Harman, CEO Multimillionaire of a stereo components company
The monkeys solved the puzzle simply because they found it gratifying to solve puzzles. They enjoyed it. The joy of the task was its own reward.
Whenever I meet someone new, I always ask the same question... 'So, what do you do?
In the past thirty years we have learned more about the workings of the human brain than in all of previous history.
If you create something, whether it's a painting or a company, I think if you care about it, you have some obligation to go out and tell people about it.
It's a question we all ask ourselves. What have we done lately? It rattles us each birthday.
In large organizations there are discrete functions. I do this; you do that. I swim in my lane; you swim in your lane. That can be very effective for certain processes and in certain stable conditions. But it doesn't work in unstable conditions.