You Can’t Put a Price on Shared Passion

A colleague recently shared this Simon Sinek video, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, with me and it’s worth sharing with you. It’s not new, but is a thought provoking piece about how truly inspired, innovative companies like Apple are driven not by what they do, or even how they do it, but by their vision of WHY they do it. (It’s long, but you can watch about the first 3-4 minutes and get the gist.)

This, I suspect, is one reason why an increasing number of folks are starting their own thing. Because not just outstanding companies but also outstanding individuals are driven by “Why”.

I highly recommend that any leader that manages people also read this recent article by Gini Dietrich, Money is Not a Motivator. The money quote (pun intended): “We want to see our work rewarded in ways more than just pay…what keeps us motivated, day after day to get up and go to work, is the feeling that we’re part of something.” A-men. I’ve talked to people who have trouble understanding this, but I believe for many of the best and brightest it is truly NOT about the money. Money is great, but not what drives us.

If you’re feeling discontented with your job, it may be because your “Why” is not the same as that of your organization or the people with whom you work. Meaning, you’re just not in it for the same reasons. Their passion, perhaps, doesn’t match yours, in direction, magnitude, or both.

Just over one year ago, I left Jigsaw, a company and a team with whom I shared a powerful bond, based in why we do what we do. I chased a shiny object that was dangled in front of my face. More money, yes. Partnership. More “power”, presumably. A new challenge, which is always appealing to self-motivated people. I don’t regret what I did. I met some great people and learned some important lessons.

What I learned, most of all, is that you just can’t put a price on shared passion. It’s hard to grasp that especially when you’re a young person in this business and don’t have many other professional experiences as frames of reference. When you find a place where you feel like you belong, you share the passion, your “Why” is the same, that in and of itself is invaluable.

Which is why I am going back to Jigsaw. See what I did there? I buried the lead. I got a second chance. I am enormously grateful and excited beyond belief to be going home.

What’s your “Why”? What drives you?

Susan Spaight

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