Great Quotes by Dan Pink

When we make progress and get better at something, it is inherently motivating. In order for people to make progress, they have to get feedback and information on how they’re doing.

Dan Pink

Too often, when you are close to people in power, you’re trying to make them happy; you’re trying to tell them what they want to hear. But I find that really good leaders don’t want that. They want the truth. And you do them a service, and yourself a service, by just being honest and straightforward.

Dan Pink

Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives. Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters. Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. These are the building blocks of an entirely new operating system for our businesses.

Dan Pink

Education in general, and higher education in particular, is on the brink of a huge disruption. Two big questions, which were once so well-settled that we ceased asking them, are now up for grabs. What should young people be learning? And what sorts of credentials indicate they’re ready for the workforce?

Dan Pink

I think that educators are in sales. Essentially, what you are doing is making an exchange with your class. You’re saying, ‘Give me your attention. In exchange, I’ll give you something else.’ The cash register is not ringing. It’s not denominated in dollars or cents or euros, but it is a form of sales in a way. It is an exchange.

Dan Pink

We have this idea 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.

Dan Pink

Management did not emanate from nature. Management is not a tree: it’s a television set. Somebody invented it. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work forever. Management is great. Traditional notions of management are great if you want compliance. But if you want engagement, self-direction works better.

Dan Pink

In order to raise money from somebody, you have to understand who is this person, not to deceive them but to understand them. What would be their motives for contributing money? Why do these people contribute money to some places, but not to others? That’s attunement – treating everybody well, but not treating everybody the same.

Dan Pink

Succeeding makes us feel good. But beating someone else makes us feel really good. Comparing ourselves to others and coming out on top creates a sense of entitlement. And when we feel entitled, we cheat more because, of course, the rules don’t apply to awesome people like us.

Dan Pink

I think that designers and architects need to educate the people who don’t quite know what they do and make a strong case for why it’s valuable and why it changes the game. I think waiting for people to come around to it just won’t do.

Dan Pink

A lot of times, when you have very short-term goals with a high payoff, nasty things can happen. In particular, a lot of people will take the low road there. They’ll become myopic. They’ll crowd out the longer-term interests of the organization or even of themselves.

Dan Pink

Traditional performance reviews have passed their sell-by date. Big time. There’s research showing that roughly two-thirds of performance appraisals have either no effect – or a negative effect! – on employee performance.

Dan Pink

If people are worried, if they’re fearful, if they feel a sense of grievance or that they’re not being treated properly or that they’re not being paid fairly, what you’re going to have is you’re going to have people doing the minimum amount of work necessary to not get fired, and not a peppercorn more.

Dan Pink

I think there are moral obligations, and I think there are economic transactions. So I think that chores are good; I think that allowances are good. I think combining them is bad.

Dan Pink

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.

Dan Pink

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. What’s important now are the characteristics of the brain’s right hemisphere: artistry, empathy, inventiveness, big-picture thinking.

Dan Pink

I happen to be extremely left-brained; my instinct is to draw a chart rather than a picture.

Dan Pink

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.

Dan Pink

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.

Dan Pink

Health care is a design problem. Dependence on foreign oil is a design problem. To some extent, poverty is a design problem. We need design thinkers to solve those problems, and most people who are in positions of political power are not design thinkers, to put it mildly.

Dan Pink

The left-brainer and the economist in me says watch what people do, not what they say.

Dan Pink

If I really believe that visual representation and narrative are ways to convey important, complex ideas, and if the world is gravitating toward this form, then geez, I better do it myself. I want to do it myself.

Dan Pink

When I got to law school, I didn’t do very well. To put it mildly, I didn’t do very well. I, in fact, graduated in the part of my law school class that made the top 90% possible.

Dan Pink

It’s concerning to me when people look at the course of education as just a means for getting a job four years later. If you’re just doing this because it is going to lead to a ‘good job,’ you’re better off doing something you’re genuinely interested in.

Dan Pink

The point of college is more to acquire skills than to acquire domain knowledge. One of the skills that is going to be most necessary: you have to be able to read with rigor and write with clarity. You have to be able to communicate. To make an argument, whether it’s in a written piece or in front of a group of people.

Dan Pink

Politicians are, in general, receptive to those who make the most noise.

Dan Pink

Artists should agitate and democratize their own work, but they should also work to democratize the arts themselves.

Dan Pink

Human beings are natural mimickers. The more you’re conscious of the other side’s posture, mannerisms, and word choices – and the more you subtly reflect those back – the more accurate you’ll be at taking their perspective.

Dan Pink

The truth is, if we have our own reasons for doing something – reasons that we endorse – we’re more likely to do it; we’re more likely to stick with it.

Dan Pink

The science shows that the best way to use money is to take the issue of money off the people. Pay people enough so that money isn’t an issue, and they can focus on doing great work.

Dan Pink

If the only reason people are coming in and doing anything in your office is because you’re giving them a paycheck, I’m not sure you have the most productive workplace there.

Dan Pink

People don’t know how to listen, and it’s not their fault. In school, we learn how to read, we learn how to write – but nobody teaches you how to listen.

Dan Pink

Selling is helping people to do what they’re already inclined to do.

Dan Pink

All of us can expect to live longer than any organization that we would work for. That continues apace. Human longevity is increasing; corporate longevity is decreasing.

Dan Pink

If you think about work, it’s just this endlessly fascinating subject. We spend at least half of our waking hours working. So it becomes this incredible window into a whole variety of things: who we are human beings, how the economy works, how people relate to each other, how stuff is made, how the world spins on its axis.

Dan Pink

With ‘Free Agent Nation,’ I was figuring out how to write a book along with writing the book. Now I think I’ve kind of, sort of figured out how to write a book a little bit better. But the process remains not that different – slow; laborious; tiny, incremental progress each day, punctuated by feelings of despair and self-loathing.

Dan Pink

One of the things is, in the writing process, if you do it enough, you have a sense of where you are. I didn’t have that with the first book as I was writing it. Now, as I write books, I have a sense of where I am. Unfortunately, the sense of where I am is usually behind.

Dan Pink

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.

Dan Pink

For creative tasks, the best approach is often just to hire great people and get out of their way.

Dan Pink

To some extent, the act of creation and the act of selling are hard to disentangle. 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.

Dan Pink

Entrepreneurs are moving from a world of problem-solving to a world of problem-finding. The very best ones are able to uncover problems people didn’t realize that they had.

Dan Pink

What entrepreneurs and artists have in common is that they give the world something it didn’t know it was missing.

Dan Pink

When the facts are on your side, there is huge power in pitching with questions. Because questions are active rather than passive. They necessitate a response.

Dan Pink

Too many people hold a very narrow view of what motivates us. They believe that the only way to get us moving is with the jab of a stick or the promise of a carrot. But if you look at over 50 years of research on motivation, or simply scrutinize your own behavior, it’s pretty clear human beings are more complicated than that.

Dan Pink

If you look at the very best presidents, the most effective presidents, they were always decent salespeople. Ronald Reagan was an extremely effective salesman, very tuned to the people he was selling to, very clear in what he was selling, very resilient and buoyant.

Dan Pink

Clinton was super attuned to other people to the point where he talks about feeling other people’s pain. Clinton is probably the most buoyant, resilient person in American political history.

Dan Pink

It’s a world where anyone you’re selling to probably has just as much information as you, has lots of choices, and all kinds of ways to talk back. And so, the low road is less and less of an option. You actually have to take the high road: Be more honest, more direct, more transparent.

Dan Pink

I’m not a Trump fan, to put it mildly, but I think there’s a power to simplicity. When Trump was running, people knew exactly what he stood for and what he was going to do as President.

Dan Pink

I really think that in the media world that we live in now, especially for writers, it has to be a conversation. With very few exceptions, it can’t be this one-way, ‘Here I am on the mountaintop preaching to all of you great unwashed readers in hopes of saving you.’ It doesn’t work that way.

Dan Pink

Giving people some kind of control over what they do is important. Human beings don’t do their best work under conditions of control.

Dan Pink

There is a huge body of evidence showing that people do better in their work when they know why they’re doing it in the first place. They do better when they see what they’re doing contributes to something in the world.

Dan Pink