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Book Review: The Surprising truth about what motivates us

Points of emphasis in the book

A powerful narrator, Daniel H. Pink, is, perhaps, one of the best writers of all times. He has done a real masterpiece of his book, The Surprising truth about what motivates us. This is a motivational book that inspires readers to make the best out of every situation they might find themselves in. It is meant for leaders; it is meant for workers; it is meant for people having problems with self-esteem; it is a book for everyone, who wants to improve their lives. The book is meant for anyone, who wants to be their own boss or is concerned about leadership. The author narrates the topic of motivation very vividly and colorfully, so that the reader understands it all better. His ideas are superb, well thought of, and calculated. In his fast-paced narration style, he keeps the reader flipping through the pages. Motivation is important in business. This is one of his points of emphasis in the book. He captures the picture just right, talking about problems and issues that are common and relate to people’s daily lives.

Autonomy

Pink insists that people always want to be autonomous and independent. They derive satisfaction from depending on themselves, having noone to answer to. It is the human nature to do things their way. This is the mentality of great business personalities, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Sir Richardson. They built their empires form a scratch. They had the resolve to succeed. They believed so much in themselves. Nothing separated them from their dreams. They had a conviction to succeed against all odds. These are the points that the author stresses in his book. Autonomy, or the need to be independent, is the driving force for these people.

Mastery

This pertains to the fact that people always want to be better at what they do. They have the passion to excel in all their undertakings. This is the right attitude for success, and no one brings this across better than the author. It is the passion, the conviction, and the resolve that drive them to scaling new heights in their quest for success. On this front, the book acts as an inspirational piece for all aspiring entrepreneurs and basically for anyone, who wants a success story in whatever they partake of. It is the belief in oneself. The author brings this nicely with the help of his narrations skills that involve the reader throughout the story.

Purpose

This is the desire of people to be better than who they really are. They are always scaling new heights. The urge to be better gives them a meaning in life, a sense of life. It propels them to work harder. This is the right attitude that businessmen and generally everyone should have. Working is one thing; creating meaning out of it, is another. The book teaches about motivation as a powerful tool that can turn around the lives of individuals and create a success story for them. Teachers at school can equally relate to this and go beyond the reward-and-punishment, but instead emphasize on the need to motivate students.

Intrinsic behavior

Learning from the intrinsic behavior of an individual is what propels an individual to want to succeed. The desire must come from within. They have to direct their behavior to enhance their very performance, as well as satisfaction within them. Throughout his story, Pink makes connections between businesses and schools. It offers motivation as the best tool that the teachers at schools can use to encourage their students to work harder. Motivation must come from deep within them first. Motivation among workers is also brought out vividly by Pink. Life is not high salaries. A combination of factors comes into play in deciding the happiness of an individual.

Overall message in the book

The overall message in the book is the importance of motivation in education and businesses. The author provides a variety of resources that are designed to support behavior. The behavior of an individual spells out whether they will succeed in life or not. It is also important that in order for people to succeed, they must develop a positive image about themselves. Success of an individual relies on their resolve to be the change agents in their lives. This is the message that Pink passes throughout his story. Motivation comes from both an individual and the external environment.

The external environment plays an important role in changing an individual. The author uses the example of teachers at school, who often resort to punishing their students, if they fail or they do not perform as is expected of them. Rather, he advocates for motivation as a way to encourage students to perform better. The message of motivation is spread to businessmen as well. They also have to be motivated about themselves. They must have passion, desire, conviction, and resolve in order to succeed. This is their driving force. It is a purpose that they have in their life. Business is done not for the profits, but for the desire to succeed through hardwork. Education is equally important as a personal fulfillment. It opens one the world of opportunities.

Education exposes an individual to a number of opportunities that they can take advantage of. The author uses the example of what he calls “motivation one”. Here, he talks about the early man, who had to adapt to the new situations in order to survive. That is the message of self-drive that should be replicated across different facets of life. The second motivation that he proposes works better for an individual is reward. When one is rewarded for a good work done, they are motivated to do their best. Motivation becomes a driving force in the success of an individual. Punishment of school children does not make them motivated. They must be understood, and their weaknesses improved upon, so that they will be able to perform better at school. Avoidance of punishment is what he terms as “type X” (extrinsic behaviour). It does not address motivation, type 3 and type 1 behaviour. He supports intrinsic motivation among individuals, so that they prosper or succeed in their undertakings.

Solution must come from within an individual. They must be the change they want to be. They must instil a positive culture within themselves and have the right behaviour or behavioural change, if they need to motivate themselves. He provides readers with the nine strategies that help school going children to succeed in their pursuits to be motivated. Creativity is equally shown by Pink to be a major driving force to success and motivation of an individual. It is important that people develop the I-can-do-it mentality, so that they succeed. Pink talks about money as well, what motivates us, and what does not motivate us. It is important for individuals to develop a sense of self-worth within them. Educational leaders are charged with the responsibility to start the engine and motivate students to move forward.

How one could benefit from the book

The book serves to reassure readers that motivation comes from within. They are the change agents in their lives. If they are to succeed, they should develop a positive attitude towards life. It is their resolve to work hard in order to achieve their dreams and passions. Motivation is paramount to success. When an individual is motivated, it doesn’t really matter whether the motivation comes from within them or from the external environments, as they are bound to succeed in whatever they undertake of. It is for this reason that the greatest people in the world, in schools, and offices are those, who were motivated by the desire to succeed. Education providers have a duty to play in motivating students, so that they perform better in school. It is important to employ better strategies to help students to succeed. School children, for instance, perform better, when they are motivated through rewards and corrected in an appropriate way, when they fail. Punishment is not a solution in making students pass. The bottom line is that motivation is the greatest tool that contributes to success and achievement of individuals.

Useful leadership skills from the book

The useful leadership tools described by the author are desire and the need to succeed. When one is motivated to succeed, and has the right attitude to achieve their goals, they will go for it, and most of the time they will succeed. Leaders have a cause of action. They act. They do not drag their legs. They do not procrastinate. Some of the leadership tools the book talks about are the forces like values, beliefs, courage, interests, and worthy causes. Some forces are internal, while others are external. Good behavior should be rewarded to encourage hard work and boost leadership skills. Leaders ought to set example. They should act the part. They must show the leadership. It begins with them.

Leaders are role models, and the author, Pink, brings this out in his book just well. Another leadership tool required is that employees, individuals, school children, as well as business owners develop a morale and work hard to achieve their dreams. In other words, motivation is a powerful leadership tool. Leaders should work as a team within organizations. The team should be a part of problem solving and planning processes. Leaders should not control team members. They should help employees to develop their talents and to be motivated about their behaviors, so that they can achieve their different passions. The following tools can also be used to boost leadership: self-awareness, empathy, and credibility.

Values and limitations of the book to health services organization

The value of this book to people running health organizations is that it teaches them of the importance of motivating workers. They can then use motivation as a powerful leadership tool to run such organizations. It helps the leader of the health organizations to be able to understand employees in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. They can be there as the role models, nurturing, and improving upon their talents, so that they can be beneficial to the health organizations. A major weakness of the book would be the fact that it depends or emphasizes on the behavior of an individual. Sometimes, management has to impose values and work ethics on their employees.

The health field is a strict and a sensitive one, one that would require standards to be adhered to. This means that the employees, who work in such areas, must be qualified and disciplined to be able to handle sensitive cases. Motivation comes second after qualification. This would be a major limitation of the book.

Adapting motivation in health care services

Some of the insights about motivation are adaptable to the health organizations. Motivation can help health workers to want to be the best in their areas of specialization. Motivation drives them to do their work effectively and efficiently. They may develop a strive for their job. Patience is critical in health management, and these are only health workers, who are motivated and who can practice the level of patience needed in health institutions. Rewarding the best efforts in health motivates health workers. With motivation, workers will be able to deliver best services knowing that they are appreciated. They are adaptable within the health care. The health care can employ motivation as a tool to encourage employees within the health care to offer best services to the patients, who need them most. Motivation is a leadership tool that leaders from organizations use to encourage their employees to deliver best services. The results of motivation could not be any different for the health care service organization.

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