Work: It’s not (all) about the money money money…

watching a sunset on the calm waterWorking, whether unpaid volunteering or paid employment, is very rarely about just completing tasks in return for money.

However most people will say it is when you ask them what they want or why they do the job they do.

If you take the time to peel back the second, third and fourth layer, it’s more about the certainty or security, the variety or stimulation, the significance or worth, the connection or relationships, the personal and professional growth and the contribution that ‘work’ brings to the individual.

Anthony Robins said, “We are all driven by the need to fulfil 6 human needs. These 6 basic needs are not just desires or wants, but profound needs which serve as the basis of every choice we make“. 

We behave in ways to ensure we meet these needs. We do so resourcefully and sometimes un-resourcefully. If our needs are being met, we continue to ‘do’ these behaviours. Only if they are not being met will we bother giving up these behaviours and decide to do something else.

“Certainty” is one of those core needs. It’s a fundamental survival instinct and we need it to be comfortable, feel safe and in control of our environments and ourselves. 

Some experience certainty by controlling their environment and those within it.

Their choices are generally reactive and as such, the outcomes for themselves, others or the broader community are generally poor.

Besides the odd sadomachist I’ve read about (in the ‘How The Brain Changes Itself’), I don’t know anyone who actually likes to be controlled.

Think about ‘that’ control freak manager or leader in your business and how unhappy their team is working under their regime. Think about the last time you witnessed someone controlling an idea or concept that involved another person or your team and their poor reactions to it, ie rolling eyes, sense of not being heard, belief it won’t work etc. Think about how you rigidly planned something, then something else happened which blew it out of the water and threw you out for a really long time.

Others experience certainty by taking responsibility for their sense of it.

Their choices are proactive and they consider not only outcomes for themselves, but also the outcomes of others ie their team, their customers and those they serve, their business, their shareholders, their industry etc. 

They are flexible in how to achieve their outcomes as they believe in themselves and their ability, as well as that in those around them. 

Think about the leaders and managers you respect and how they influence and collaborate ideas to build a plan towards strategic goals. Think about a problem you didn’t immediately know how to solve in your team and all the different solutions your team came up with to resolve it. Think about the last time you planned something that didn’t go according to plan, but you stepped in, tweaked the approach and the outcome was still great!

You see the keys are these: 

  1. The more certainty we experience within ourselves and our belief in our abilities, the less certainty we need externally from our environment.

  2. Our ability to handle uncertainty is directly equal to how much success we will have. The more uncertainty we can deal with, the better the leader are. 

Ask yourself “out of 10, (1 being very uncertain and 10 being absolutely certain), how certain do I feel in my career?”

Also ask, “what’s my appetite for uncertainty?” 

Trust what comes up for you.  

If your score is under 8 and you’d like to learn how to improve this number and your career, get in touch and ask us how.

Be your best self, on the inside and out, and get paid for it.


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