Why, why, why?

It’s a really interesting question.  Why?  It’s one I ask a lot when interviewing people and one that gives many the most angst trying to answer.  It’s a topic that Jane Riley and I explored in our cover story interview.  I am sure you’ll find her thoughts of interest. 

Ask most people why they go to work every day and they will tell you it’s to earn money to give their families the lifestyle they choose.  That’s fair enough of course, but it’s only part of the answer.  It doesn’t explain, for example, why, when people have achieved that ambition, they keep getting up every day and doing it again.  I have asked some of those success stories for their motivation as well and many just say, ‘I enjoy it’ or ‘what else would I do’. That’s not the real reason but, in many cases, I doubt people have even thought about it themselves.  Getting up and going to work every day is a habit: one that we do whether we need to or not.

And that seems to me to be a shame.  Someone I knew once drew a comparison for me.  “Go to a street corner and ask people for money and you will be greeted with distain,” she said. “Hold out a charity box and the same people will give freely.”  Why?  Because you are doing it for a cause.  They are not supporting what you are doing, they are supporting why you are doing it.

If companies, or individuals, can identify a cause, a higher driving force than simply survival or wealth, I suspect they would be received differently and achieve greater job satisfaction.  Many organisations have social programmes.  Some even have separate divisions dedicated to charitable and social initiatives.  These are laudable and, I am sure, greatly appreciated by all those in receipt of their largess, but that’s not quite what I mean. These are the actions made possible by success, they are not the driving force itself.

When I started The Mover, for example, back in 2011, I did so not to make money but to give the  industry an independent medium and commentator.  That has been my driver every day. What I then do with the proceeds of any modest success is different. 

So, what’s your driver?  Do you know?  If you do, do you tell your customers?  Do you tell your families? My guess is you don’t.

Steve Jordan, Editor, The Mover