August 12, 2014

Is Money the Object?

A large portion of the planet measures profits over people. To some, what you make, what kind of car you drive, how much money you have in your investment portfolio has become more important than embracing relationships and experiences.

I was recalling a situation with a client a few weeks back with regards to compensation. She is doing very well in her current role and from all evidence it appears she’s being groomed for a big promotion. She is a sharp, talented, authentic leader, but she’s stuck on the number on the bottom of the page.

It’s Not the Paycheck

We talked about her new role and she kept coming back to her salary. She was excited about getting a big raise so she and her husband can get a bigger house. That’s great, we celebrated her hard work. But the deeper issue is her motivation.

She realized that the reason she wanted the new role and responsibilities was because it’s going to give her more time to coach and lead an expanded team and it’s not really about the money. We celebrated even more. That was it! She wasn’t ruled by money or stature or position, her passion was being a great leader and continuing to improve.

Living by Numbers

I told my client about a time in my career when I was offered an exciting new opportunity. It was the culmination of a decade of hard work and I was about to be rewarded for my efforts. But I had it in my mind that I wanted to make a certain amount as a signal of my success.

Two months into the new role, I thought to myself, the extra money didn’t make me feel any different. In fact, I was more focused on the expanded responsibility. The number was some self-fabricated yardstick which eventually meant nothing.

The Real Bottom Line

If we focus on money, it will become our only measure of achievement. Business needs to see black ink but there are three motivating factors at play – to make a name, to make a living, and to make a difference. Making a name for ourselves doesn’t seem quite as important as making a living while making a difference in others’ lives.

If the focal point of all we do is profits, we may lose the opportunity to spend time with some remarkable people.
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Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.

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