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The following is assembled from excerpts from an article published July 15 in Knowledge@Emory. As the creators of RainmakerVT, the first interactive virtual business development training for lawyers, we find these points encouraging, and we anticipate that lawyers reading it will, too.

In his latest book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, bestselling author Daniel H. Pink contends that “autonomy, mastery, and purpose” are the intrinsic motivators necessary for success in today’s complex business environment.

Pink argues that the creative demands of today’s professional world require an approach that is more inventive and allows workers more freedom in deciding how to accomplish a job. Pink adds, “Greatness and near-sightedness are incompatible.”

Pink believes that companies and individuals are capable of making the shift from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation, arguing, “Type I (intrinsically motivated) behavior is made, not born.”…It’s the ability to independently work through a problem and apply a conceptual solution that offers satisfaction and provides results.

"Greatness and near-sightedness are incompatible." -Daniel Pink

Says Pink, the “modern workplace’s most notable feature may be its lack of engagement and its disregard for mastery.” Pink wisely points out that mastering a difficult task isn’t always a pleasant process. Practice is required, and the path “is not lined with daisies.”

Significant effort, however, can sometimes propel an employee forward, providing meaning to work. “The joy is in the pursuit more than the realization,” he says. “In the end, mastery attracts precisely because mastery eludes.”

While we didn’t read “Drive” before designing RainmakerVT’s curriculum and user experience, it feels as though we could have. It's organized around autonomy, allowing subscribers to tackle business development topics in any order they choose, from any computer, at any time. By providing a private virtual environment in which lawyers can learn, make mistakes, practice and rehearse, it encourages pursuit of mastery — at one’s own pace.

By distilling what is, for many, the bewildering world of marketing and sales behaviors into a simple framework with only two concepts — Getting Found and Getting Chosen — it certainly satisfies lawyers’ need to “independently work through a problem and apply a conceptual solution” in their own way.

We will, however, challenge Mr. Pink’s assertion that “mastering a difficult task isn’t always a pleasant process.” We believe that by simplifying the task and offering a safe environment in which to develop, the task itself need not be either difficult or unpleasant.

Mike O'Horo


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