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Thread: The things we work for...

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    Default The things we work for...

    There's a distinctly odd way with people how the things that motivate us are all so different.

    I'm not really materialistic and certainly not extrovert. If you want to know who I am, I'm the Joe stood at the back of the crowd wearing the same jeans as I was wearing 4 years ago.

    A month or so ago we were burgled at home and the car keys (and subsequently car) were stolen. I went out and bought an old Landrover to keep me mobile but something I didn't expect happened - I lost my confidence too. It was like my personal 'evidence' to myself that I can achieve something in business was gone. All the other evidence, however evident, didn't have any power over me as my own proof. I slid even quieter to the back of the crowd.

    There was something 'nice' about the invisibility I felt driving a many year old Landrover for a while, but I wasn't making decisions confidently and I had much less confidence in my own abilities.

    Losing my Mojo was a good reminder to me about how hard it is for me to remember to consider and respect the things that motivate my staff and my customers. How many times have I been asked by a member of staff what their job title should be? I would normally brush them aside telling them to make something up because it doesn't really matter. Asking to be given a title isn't something you do if titles don't matter to you, is it?

    Anyway, happy ending because the insurance company Norwich Union (shameless plug because I like them very much), delivered me my brand new shiny Porsche Cayenne this week. Mojo restored, and owner suitably taught yet another valuable lesson. Or two.

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    I think, for some people, self confidence comes from sense of self and from what they accomplish. For other people, titles matter. You're probably right, people wouldn't ask you what their title was if titles weren't important to them. The trick is to learn what motivates each individual and give them that thing. For some people it might be a title or a bigger office. For others it might be a larger paycheck.

    One of the hardest things I ever had to learn as a manager was the fact that one size management does not fit all. You have to manage people, not employees.

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    Great post, and I'll let the shameless plug go because I sense your intentions are honorable.

    I've learned many important lessons in life so it's hard to say which is the most important. Those lessons often come from unpleasent experiences, so I was sorry to read about your break-in. But on this subject, one thing I have learned that has helped me tremendously is to be content no matter what. If you're not happy driving an old, beat up VW, the Porshe will not satisfy for long. When you're content, then the blessings are just that...blessings.

    Just one additional note to clarify though. Contentment does not mean passive. Man was created to achieve, to strive, and to exercise creativity. Contentment is no reason to be a sluggard.
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    "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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    There was something 'nice' about the invisibility I felt driving a many year old Landrover for a while, but I wasn't making decisions confidently and I had much less confidence in my own abilities.
    Great subject G - very good how you zero in on the connection between evidence, or the trappings of success, and your confidence.

    I like to dress casually (jeans mostly), but when I have a special meeting to attend or situation to address where I'm a little uncertain of the outcome, I put on the clothes that show a certain level of success and they boost my confidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by degadar View Post
    I'm the Joe stood at the back of the crowd wearing the same jeans as I was wearing 4 years ago.
    Let me start off by saying that if I could still fit into the jeans I was wearing four years ago, that alone would be a symbol of my success!

    Seriously though, I agree with your comments about how we (even as a society in general) may feel that the outward and visible displays of our success provide further proof to our inner selves that we indeed have made it. I think we all tend to rely on that type of reinforcement to some degree.

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    I think that you will find that it is a very common strain, that there is one thing that makes everyone really feel successful, and confident. For some people it does come down to a title, which for you may be of little significance. For some it may be the car they drive, like for you no matter which model, everyone looks at a porsche, but who really looks at a landrover. For some it is the clothes they are wear, like me, i recently got a position where i am required to wear collared shirt and tie. Just putting these clothes on makes me feel good mostly, and it is something that you can difinetly see in my posture, and the difference between wearing a work uniform and collar and tie, can be seen by the number of people that do look.

    So it does not always just come down to what it is for you but, maybe the reaction you see in other people as well.
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