Tag Archives: internal motivation

It’s Not Working Harder

“The difference in the two jobs was night and day,” Caitland explained. “The higher paying job had a better title. Managing Director, I think. The other company had lower pay, a lower title, but the work was more interesting, more challenging, in the end, more satisfying.”

“What was it about the work that made it more satisfying?” I asked.

“The Managing Director job was just that. I managed and I directed. Actually, it was a glorified supervisor position. Very frustrating. I was supposed to make sure the work got done, but I felt like I was putting my thumb in the dike. I could easily see better ways to achieve the goals, systems that we could create to more effectively solve the same problems over and over. But my boss was resistant. He said that creating those systems would be a waste of time, there were always too many exceptions.”

“And why was the other position more satisfying?” I repeated.

“A lot less stress, even though we produced more than double the output of the other company. It’s funny, I never fixed a problem while I was there. I only focused on systems. I would fix the system and the system would fix ten problems. We seldom worked overtime, but were much more productive.”
As we wind into this holiday season, Management Blog is winding down its publishing year. We will see you in January 2024. Until then, have a Merry Christmas. Enjoy the time with family and friends. See you soon. -Tom

What’s the Difference in the Work?

“As a manager, if all you can offer is money, what kind of issues do you constantly face? More importantly, if we are trying to get some work done around here, how can we bring out the best in people?” I repeated.

Caitland hesitated. “I guess my experience is from my first few jobs. Money was the only reason I worked. It’s how I put myself through school. The only reason I worked was for the money. And if I got a better offer, more money, for another job, I jumped on it.”

“Did you ever take a job, based on compensation, that you wished you hadn’t taken? Even though the money was better than your previous job?” I pressed.

She nodded her head. “Yes, but, in my mind, I told myself they were paying for a lousy job and that’s why the money was better. Funny. They were paying for a lousy job.”

“And have you ever taken a job that was so interesting that the money didn’t matter?”

Again, Caitland nodded. “Yes, don’t tell anyone, but this job, I would work for free.”

“So, tell me, what’s the difference in the work?”