Loads of great comments on my Hope and Optimism post... let's start with a snippet from the most recent...
You might be missing Kersten's sense of humor. [snip] He's coming at it from an unusual angle, but much of what he has to say makes sense to me.
I don't think I'm missing his sense of humor at all. It is funny stuff, as is Dilbert, however I think it's sad. There is enough negativity in the workplace, and this type of material just adds to it. He is obviously a smart guy, so why doesn't he use his obvious intelligence to do something positive? Again, he's profiting on other people misery. Also, the point of my post wasn't against him as much as it was against HBR for calling that a "Breakthrough Idea".
If you inspire people with your idea, they will no longer work for you but with you.
Julian goes on to write:
...when we begin to lack satisfaction in one aspect of our life do we begin to seek that satisfaction elsewhere?
Yes indeed. There is a great line that I
stole borrow constantly from Fouro:
People say they want money, but thats not true. People trade economic wherewhithal for positive emotional experiences.
Think about that - it isn't money, it is the temporary happiness of the things money buys. I have always said that the three main sources of happiness are:
1.) Great relationships
2.) Emotionally Rewarding Work
3.) A hobby that you are passionate about
One of those is better than none. Two is better than one. And, if you're lucky enough to have all three, you're probably one of those people who smiles all the time.
Anyway, back to the comments...
I think this guy's entire premise is moot, unless he wants to reconstruct the American (Westernized) psyche.
How true Aleah. How true. That great line by Ernest Becker - man is driven by twin ontological motives: The need to fit in and the need to stand out. As an employer, you need to be feeding at least one of those two innate needs. Simply viewing people as "resources" isn't going to give you the dedicated workforce most organizations dream about.
Shit isn't funny unless it offers a lamentable or ironic counterpoint to the S.N.A.F.U. that is usually off-limits. So Kersten's posters are passive-aggressive truths that none of us has the balls to state clearly at the Monday morning staff meeting. "Life isn't fair", "Why try harder?" and "dolts get ahead" ...
Not in the Monday morning staff meeting, however the water cooler and coffee machine hear those comments all day long. Kersten might be right, but companies that don't try to reverse that perception of their employees are doomed to the same chances of success of the people who make those comments.
But to work somewhere where there is no gratitude, and only work, wow, that wouldn't inspire anybody. And then, ultimately, productivity would also go down.
Yep, you're right. I think most people extend extra effort where and when they feel appreciated. A pat on the back for a job well done is psychologically addicting to most people.
I think he has a point - expectations for most non-entrepreneurs I know are WAY to high!!
I'm not sure about that. I get what you're saying, and yeah, there are people who claim to want a share in the outcome ("equity"), but my guess is that most of those people wouldn't change their behavior accordingly. I'm not misguided or naive in thinking that doing good work will result in the rewards people claim to want. I think most people don't know what they want but most people would be happier, and more productive, if they were more appreciated.
And, finally, Mike writes:
Jon, you're an asshole.
Okay, he didn't write that... but I bet there are times when he'd like to! [grin].
Seriously, Mike came along with a great first comment:
I get a big laugh out of his ability to parody bad motivational items, but I agree with you that an ability to mock the status quo does not mean you have a better alternative!
And Mike, that is why I like you - cause you agree with me. Just kidding. You're right, his parodies are funny, but he probably doesn't have a better alternative.
It is sad that HBR choose that as a breakthrough idea. It probably stood out to me because of the project I'm working on and some of the comments I've heard from the people on my team.
I enjoy work. I'm usually able to connect the results of my work to somehow improving the life of someone, somewhere. However, as a close friend pointed out to me recently, I think that I expect others around me to share my passion - and that doesn't always happen. So articles like this just frustrate me.
Anyway, thanks everyone for the great comments!!