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The surprising truth about what really motivates us

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Hatter The Mad, 1 Jun 2010.

  1. Hatter The Mad

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 28 Nov 2008

    Posts: 8,737

    Location: UK

    It didn't surprise me, but the production of this video and the facts behind it just made it worth passing on:



    (Yes, I know we have a Youtube thread, but I think this topic could fruit a discussion of its own!)

    Having watched this video, how do you feel about it? What motivates you?
     
  2. PMKeates

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Jul 2004

    Posts: 14,052

    It's a very interesting video, though I've felt/thought this way for about a year or so now (after reading some of Peter Kropotkin's writings), that people don't (or at least shouldn't plan to) work for money.

    I think the people who work purely for financial gain, in the most part, are not as happy, self-fulfilled, innovative or probably successful as those who work for another reason. There has to be a bigger drive. There has to be something keeping them awake at night, an inner desire to achieve that transcends a large bank balance or a Ferrari.
     
  3. iNPUt

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 9 Jun 2009

    Posts: 1,804

    Location: London

    Man I wish I could draw like that, when he started shouting was a bit scary / unnecessary.

    Is a weird phenomenon, very interesting video cheers for the link.
     
  4. Deadbeat

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 May 2009

    Posts: 5,417

    While I'm inclined to accept the first part of your statement, I'd disagree with the need for a 'bigger drive'. the only thing that keeps me in my job is avoiding boredom - my career interests me, that's all. I don't feel the need to excel at what I do, either in my own estimation or the eyes of my peers, I'm not working toward some grand vision of myself at the pinnacle of my life. If I didn't work, I'd get bored far too easily, so if I have to work, I might as well do something that, while it isn't really taxing in any way, at least keeps me wanting to work, just to see what else crops up in my day-to-day occupation. I've been here for nearly 2 years now, and I'm still running across things that make me think "Christ, that is disgusting", or "That's the coolest thing I've seen this week". I don't think there's anything I could realistically want to add to my life to make it better that'd be worth working towards.

    Having said that, I am looking to get onto a trainee course. More than any other reason, my main drive behind that is my first failed attempt at university - there's a lot of things about those years I regret, but given the opportunity, there's not many things I'd do different. The only thing that rankles is that I didn't get a degree out of it, so after I rectify that I'll be set. However, I don't ever fool myself into believing I have lofty motives.
     
  5. do_ron_ron

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,517

    On a management course decades ago we learnt that money was only a motivator until your essential needs were catered for. Having lots of cash is not a motivator as the value given to each additional unit becomes smaller and smaller.

    This has been known for ages - hence the e.g. renaming of job titles. This is a suprising motivator.
     
  6. rypt

    Capodecina

    Joined: 22 Mar 2008

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    Money motivates up to a point, once you are earning enough to do whatever you want to do, there is no reason to want to earn more ... unless you are a greedy (or a banker, though that tends to be just the same)
     
  7. Energize

    Caporegime

    Joined: 12 Mar 2004

    Posts: 29,025

    Location: England

    Dopamine.
     
  8. ojrules

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Nov 2007

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    Im not going to defend bankers, but some of the few "bankers" i know, havnt been all that motivated by money. In the banking world, from what i can gather, there is a lot of "trying to be the best", yes they get paid very large ammounts of money, and there will be people who are solely motivated by money, but from the people ive seen who are/where/are going to be bankers, its a personal goal, a personal mission. (maybe not so much nowadays, now bankers have such a bad reputation). My old biology teacher used to be a banker, and whichever way you look at it, that is a HUGE salary swing, he said after banking he wanted a change, so took a degree and went into biology, and last year he again changed ( i think) to go into marine biology. Marine biology and teaching are both very different salary scales to banking.

    sorry to go on an on- another example, - my brother who is going into the financial sector, though not strictly classical banking is an extremely unmaterialistic person, who's main interst in life is experiences, like holidays and visiting differnet countries. So while money is attractive, theres also somethign else going on... even with bankers.. also you burn out very fast in banking so its not really a realistic long term career
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  9. Mr Jack

    Capodecina

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    Bankers, pretty much all the research shows, aren't actually motivated by money. Well, sort of. They treat their vast monetary rewards as a means of keeping score. They don't want it for it's value as money; they want it because it means they're good at what they do.
     
  10. rypt

    Capodecina

    Joined: 22 Mar 2008

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    Right ... I call BS on that one.

    When RBS were slated for paying bonuses despite being taxpayer owned they said "we have to pay that much in order to attack the top people", clearly that means that money is an issue, despite the already large salary being offered.
    We also had bankers come out and threaten to move abroad were bonus levels curbed excessively via regulations from the government.

    If greed is not an issue then why do companies have to pay several million pounds/dollars in the western world to their CEOs ... why do these CEOs want such high compensations rates? Why do they not work on the Asian/Japanese model where the pay scale is much less?

    When you are at the monetary levels that these people are, and some movie etc stars, it is clearly still greed that makes them ask for more for their next job etc
    Certain movie stars have been known to refuse to work on a film unless they are paid 10mil+ ...
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  11. ojrules

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Nov 2007

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    easy, calling my opinion BS is a bit harsh. Its a "don't hate the player hate the game" scenario. If you're an engineer, and you're doing a fufilling job, but someone you know gets paid (im exaggerating) double what you get paid, for the same work, you may well look to change employers, to what you deem a fairer salary. The same i believe can be applied to the banking world, and as you have said lowering salaries in the Uk is no the solution, banking is global and people can easily move abroad.

    as raised by MR JACK- the money is a points system to them, most points = winner. to put it crudely.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  12. Dev2

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Jul 2006

    Posts: 959

    Location: Dublin

    Some are going to call on this as evidence that socialism is better - it isn't an argument for this. Rather it's an argument for individualism as people should be afforded the right to determine for themselves what it is they want to do, it's just apparent that money isn't always the only motivator and offered incentives should reflect that particularly in employment.

    Companies like Google offer their staff 20% of their paid time to do work on whatever it is they want to work on - many unique and cool products have developed from this mechanism. This to me is a better example than the one provided in the video which was actually a little silly given it was only 24 hours.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  13. rypt

    Capodecina

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    Yes, but as an engineer I would not be on 500k a year generally

    You cannot argue that money is not a motivator, but also argue in support of the huge salaries in the city and entertainment industries
     
  14. Rich_L

    Capodecina

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    It's still not necessarily the money in terms of the purchasing power it enables though but rather a competitive benchmark - if Movie Star A got $5mill, and Movie Star B thinks that they are as good, if not better, then they will ask for minimum $5mill or more because otherwise they are wondering why Movie Star A gets paid more and the more they get paid the 'better' they are compared to their peers, rather than focusing on what they can get for the money - at those levels it starts to become largely meaningless.

    A case in point would be the amount of negotiation and fighting that goes on about the order of names in the credits, who gets their names on the posters - something which is to many in the film business more important even than the monetary reward for any particular job.


    Much like bankers when you get to the higher sums, it is a competition to be the 'best', to earn the most because the money you earn is an accepted benchmark of how 'good' you are in that world - the actual rewards of the money earnt is almost secondary
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  15. ojrules

    Wise Guy

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    RYPT--

    I'm not arguing in support of huge salaries in the city (and never mentioned entertainment industries), i'm saying if anything is to change the whoooole system needs to change, otherwise employees will deem their salary as unfair and change employers. nothing there endorses high salaries, it endorses equality
     
  16. ojrules

    Wise Guy

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    Rich L - completely agree with you. Also people need to realise that banking IS their lives. Up to a point whereby they may not even have any time to be overly materialistic (again this is a moderate exaggeration, but you get the point) - successful bankers don't have the time to be playboys- they have the money but not the time. They live to work, not work to live

    Graduate/Internship bankers specifically are good examples, they work huge hours ( often far more than long term bankers) for (sometimes) relitavely small ammounts of money. It is not the money which is motivating them here it is the acceleration of their career, it is training to be the best
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  17. rypt

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    Except that results speak louder than pay packets surely
    A movie star can show that they won awards for their performance, and that the film did well with critics and grossed well...

    Bankers can show how much they earned for their bank, how those things are doing long term, etc.

    I do not buy the "I want to make more money to show that I'm better than Mr X", if you are really trying to suggest that is the main motivator then we need to add shallow to greedy.
     
  18. Rich_L

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    I don't think you'd get much argument from describing actors and bankers as shallow and greedy :p
     
  19. ojrules

    Wise Guy

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    I think you misunderstand some basic human characteristics. Trying to be the best does not quality you to be shallow, nor greedy, infact it is very unmaterialistic - why have the most toys when i can be the best- who dies with most toys does not win, in their eyes. They can say they were/are the best, at that is what is satisfying.
     
  20. rypt

    Capodecina

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    Measuring who is the best by the car they drive, how much money they make, etc is VERY shallow