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Driven - Paul Lawrence & Nitin Nohria

I read a lot of boring books that don’t really justify a review. But sometimes a book is so irrelevant it makes me angry, especially when it’s big and takes me a week to get through.

At one time I was really interested in “natural selection.” This probably had something to do with the domination this subject had in my local “big box” bookstore. I was lead to believe that this subject is what the smart people are interested in, and that it is relevant to the design of our society, politics, and economic systems.

One of the first things that began to annoy me about this subject, was the apparent fetish for regurgitating the entire history of this field in every book.

For some reason, when academics write about natural select, they just MUST quote every other major mind in the field. Well, I’ve read Darwin and Damasio and Diamond and Leary and Pinker and IF I WANTED TO READ IT AGAIN I WOULD!

This 300 page book could easily have been cut down to 200 or less if they just removed the quotes.

Next, this book got me in with an interesting hook: why did productivity decrease AFTER Russia switched from communism to capitalism. Interesting question, really wish I didn’t have to wait to the last chapter to get their attempted answer.

I found these academics did a terrible job when they finally got to the business section. I love business theory and I’ve read about the auto industry and HP before. But tying these business histories to natural selection just really made me cringe.

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone thinks evolution is important to our behaviors now. I would rather just read about psychology or business, as they don’t attempt to connect it to “how these drives evolved.”

Totally useless thought exercise. It’s nice to know how people think and act - it’s pretty much a guess as to WHY.

One of my favorite thinkers Jim Rohn beautifully advised: DONT ASK WHY! Just study what is and accept it..

I don’t recommend this book but I do understanding just how much intellectual capital is wasted on these useless questions.

 I can't figure out why natural selection is relevant to business.