FLIP: 16 Counter Intuitive Ideas About Motivation, Innovation, and Leadership


Daniel H. Pink, Author, Free Agent Nation, A Whole New Mind and Drive has written a collection called FLIP: 16 Counter Intuitive Ideas About Motivation, Innovation, and Leadership. It’s a quick read of much of what I have rather “crone like”- labeled “crap in the workplace”. Pink shares his insights gained through research and travel on the current workplace.

You may have gathered by now I discuss “crap” a lot, especially in relation to aging, the workplace and the current jobs war. “Chronological Age is Crap” and “Sharp Crap Detector” are two of the key phrases I am most known for recently, prefaced only by “Freedom is Knowing Your Options” – the creed in which my business, Career Design Associates, Inc. was founded in 1978.

Back to the “Crap” …. I mean Flip!

In FLIP: 16 Counter Intuitive Ideas About Motivation, Innovation, and Leadership, Pink starts by saying many of us may sense, as he does, that much advice we have been given is “plain wrong – flatly, flagrantly, fatally incorrect.” I absolutely agree on this point! Mark Twain, one of my heroes, puts it this way: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble: It’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.”

Research and travels have shown Pink “that the individuals and organizations doing great things have often flipped the conventional wisdom. They’ve taken age-old beliefs-turned them upside down.”

Since this is what I have been teaching to countless adults for more than three decades, it feels great reading what Pink says about running counter to tradition absolutes.

In FLIP, Pink covers why:

  • “You should continue doing what you’re doing just in reverse order
  • “Doubting yourself is wiser than believing in yourself”
  • “Maximizing shareholder value is a worse idea still”
  • “Trying to find your passion is a stupid idea”

Personally, I absolutely question him on his passion statement. As all who know me understand that my mission in life is to teach career clients how to find the purpose they can pursue with passion, while having meaning and money until they die at age 100!

In this area, Pink focuses on the pain or discomfort of not knowing your passion. When, as I put it, you are in a “dark night” of a career change and job problems. He de-emphasizes passion and he simply re-emphasizes doing or taking action.

My message is:

We should focus in the action of doing what fits our purpose and what we are passionate about! Our purpose or passion is the “Meaning Magnet, Tap Root or Brand” which all CDA clients write at the bottom of their Success Criteria “Glass Ball vs. Rubber Ball” Prescription.

Personally, my Meaning Magnet is: I am a grower of clients and their career potential, trees/plants and ideas.

I especially relate to his #6 – Keep a To-Don’t List of your own and #12 – “Scrap Performance Reviews”. The main reason a very successful CPA client said she was leaving her corporate job. She is establishing her own company and throwing performance reviews out the window.

I strongly suggest you subscribe to Pink’s Newsletter and download your FREE copy of FLIP: 16 Counter Intuitive Ideas About Motivation, Innovation, and Leadership and read it for yourself.

Find Daniel Pink through his website and on Twitter.