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This is the seventh book in the series Learning Together and Leading Together where we are going through the Personal MBA plan curated by Josh Kaufman. Our goal is to get through 99 books this year. Do we read the whole book? Nope. We digest the summary of the book and I give my thoughts and you give your thoughts. Feel free to follow along and comment.
Josh has been kind enough to write a summary of this book and breaks down the book into 10 points. I encourage you to read the full summary. Here are the 10 points from that summary:
- Human beings have four fundamental, biological drives: acquiring, bonding, learning, defending.
- If you want to succeed in business, it pays to understand what people want. Markets form around core human drives.
- Drives are subconscious: all people want them at some level almost all of the time.
- Drives are emotional, and serve to provide context to rationality: goals, intentions, purpose, and motive.
- Drives evolved to help us survive and thrive in our ancestral environment.
- The Drive to Acquire: material goods and immaterial status, influence, and power.
- The Drive to Bond: forming social relationships, communicating, and the feeling of belonging.
- The Drive to Learn: curiosity, exploration, questioning, and pushing boundaries.
- The Drive to Defend: identifying threats, protecting self and others, and seeking safety.
- Multiple drives can be active at the same time: the more drives an action invokes, the more compelling that action becomes.
Main idea of the book: There are four core human drives that shape how people think and behave. Understanding these drives helps you understand what people want, as well as find ways to help others fulfill them. The more drives your offer appeals to, the more appealing it will be to your potential customers.
Lawrence and Nohria’s four drive theory helps to explain what humans want, as well as why they want those things. These 4 drives are:
- Acquire – both material goods, as well as immaterial things like status, power, and influence.
- Bond – form relationships and interact with other people.
- Learn – explore new areas of life, practice new skills, and satisfy curiosity.
- Defend – protect what is “ours,” and drive away threats to our safety and security.
My Thoughts: When I meet with people who want to launch an idea or company I ask this question, “What problem are you solving?” It is a simple question but I am amazed by how many people don’t know the answer. The product, service, or idea should meet one of these drives. Before diving into this book I was not aware of how they defined these drives or how they classified the drives. That said I kept coming back to the question that I ask people often.
When looking at solving a problem to launch the next great company remember these 4 drives. How can you answer the question of more than one drive? It may be easy to figure out that you can help people form relationships and learn at a conference but how do you also help them acquire and defend.
There will be gimmicks and products that blow up and then go away. You will hear about someone making a lot of money in a flash. I don’t know about you but I want to build something that lasts a long time. I don’t want to build something that is a flash in the pan. To be able to build something that last we must get to answering the questions, What problem are we solving and what drive(s) are focusing on?
What do you think of this book? What about the drives?