Drive Versus Driven

Some people have drive.
Some people are driven.
And some people are both.

Even though both words are derived from the same source they mean different things.

The word drive for example means to propel or carry along by force in a specified direction.

While the definition of driven is one who is motivated or determined by a specific factor or feeling.


I’ve been thinking about these words lately and how they influence the interactions I have on a daily basis.

With that said, I’ve been observing how each one of these behaviors and/or traits manifest in a given situation.

For example, a person with an intense amount of drive just wants to get things done.

As a result, they make quick decisions and in certain cases rash decisions.

It's also possible that with a high amount of drive - big picture thinking won’t come easy.

Add to that a lack of patience and if you're not careful, you could have a walking disaster on your hands.

Not to say that drive is bad.  There are a lot of obvious benefits to drive such as having a sense of urgency, moving the ball forward, and a no nonsense attitude. 


Compare someone who has drive to an individual who is driven you'll see a few differences.

Being driven comes with the song strong sense of accomplishment.

Driven individuals will typically have a long-term vision.

They want to get somewhere and won't stop until they get there.

Driven individuals are less about the moment more about the future.

What’s the downside?

Driven individuals can be perceived as controlling.

They may be looked at as plotters and schemers.

And they can be seen as slow.

At the end of the day both behaviors have good and bad in them.

What you really want is to have a balanced mix of drive and driven in your make up.

Add to that a healthy dose of self-awareness and empathy and you’ve got a winning combination of leadership mojo.

Too much swing in any direction and you’ll stall out on your dreams.

So where do you stand at the intersection of drive and driven?