Perhaps the greatest motivator for success is the satisfaction that comes with achievement. A sense of accomplishment is a truly “analog” experience and something that can be elusive in this digital age. When we think of the “experience” of accomplishment we see this reflected in advertising and other media as the sense a craftsman gets from creating a well-made piece of furniture, knitting that sweater and so on. To capture that feeling we often harken back to pre-industrial times where satisfaction and accomplishment came from what we did with our hands and skills.
Finding Our Way
I use commercials a lot because I believe they are a reflection of what is prevalent in our society or what is longed for. One of my favorites had a potent combination of images and music where the song that was being sung spoke about “finding my way home.” What was interesting were the images of a woman manning a loom, a mechanic standing at his bench, a woman in front of her tractor, a boy skateboarding and a girl skipping rope. All images of accomplishment and with that accomplishment a sense of satisfaction. It was a brilliant commercial and I believe it taps into a deep seated need.
Are We Repeating The Same Mistakes?
Is it possible that we are repeating the excesses of the industrial revolution in the digital revolution? As a student of history I know that much of the excess of the industrial revolution was about the move from craftsmanship to the assembly line. From a pastoral setting and pace to the hectic race to keep up with the machines. Workers, often entire families – women and children included – lived a stones throw from the factory that owned their house, provided their food and kept them at work often 18 hours a day! Those conditions were brought about by an idea that the worker had to keep up to what the machine could do.
Gone was the sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction that came with it. People were simply parts of the larger assembly line that pumped out products that they could neither appreciate or afford.
Rise Of The Machines
Much like the industrial revolution the digital revolution has created an environment where we must keep pace with the machines. What are the issues we are grappling with today? Should you turn your phone off when you are not at work? Do you have time to take a vacation? (Yes statistics show that vacations are on the decline.) Even more alarming is when you do take “time off” you are still connected to work!
Ask someone what they do they can give you a job title but few can point to a product. Is it any wonder then that we long for the experience of “accomplishment” and the satisfaction that comes with it? Are we any less constrained by the “digital” machines than we were by the steel ones?
Can Millennials Lead The Way?
Next blog we will look at how the Millennials have come up with some solutions to this need and how we as leaders can help our teams tap back into that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Yes, these thing are not only possible but are vital components of the P factor. Performance Leadership – Think About it!