Friday, May 8, 2009

Motivation Factor Number ONE: Sense of Purpose

On the way to the office this morning, I observed 2 elderly people, maybe aged at 70, standing next to the traffic light, directing the flow of the walkers crossing the street. The temperature was 31 °C. Both of them wore a sign: Volunteer.

Then I observed some young, nice dressed ladies in the air-conditioned office building with the best views to the Huangpu River, got bored for what they have to do, waiting for the clock to reach 5:30pm, so they can enjoy the night life in Shanghai.

So I start to question myself what really motivate people to work, not just to do an ordinary work, but a job with passion, independently on how much one gets paid for. I reflected to my own 23 years working experiences with all the emotional ups and downs and came to the conclusion that people need strong sense of purpose to work with passion.

For me the purposes are

1) When the work has a component of personal development, either for me or for other people.

2) When the work really creates values, either for the company, other people or for myself.

If none of the above exists, I tent to switch off my light and fire. I will still do a job well. But I may not go the extra miles.

I am pretty sure that every one has his own sense of purpose. The manager’s task is to find it out and to design the job for the subordinates such that it makes sense (of purpose) to them.

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