Review: Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations by Dan Ariely
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short but intriguing book will be useful for not just leaders but really for anyone who is looking to understand his or her own sense of motivation as well as those of others that someone works with. It's a fairly short book and one that you can get the gist of from Ariely's TED Talk. Known for conducting a range of curious tests with humans to better understand human nature (previous works include The Truth about Dishonesty and Predictably Irrational), Ariely takes this book to explore how we tend to profoundly misunderstand how motivation works and therefore regularly fail to achieve the outcomes we are expecting in others or severely cramping the possibilities. He unpacks some rather strong misconceptions about how extrinsic rewards (e.g. more pay) can fail to increase or even decrease productivity or how purpose and meaning on behalf of the individual drives more productivity. This book has a lot of potential for everyone as it makes the reader more aware of how to make outcomes more beneficial for both parties involved.

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