I have been in the Recruiting Industry for 15 years and in the business world for the onset of social media. Wow it makes me sound ancient to admit that, but it is the truth. Over the years I have not been someone who does a lot of postings beyond blogs, but last week I posted a great motivational saying. I was amazed at the overwhelming responses I received from this picture in terms of “likes” and comments. It got me thinking about what has really motivated me over the years. In all honesty it was fear, but in a good way. I personally enjoy all of the motivational quotes, the inspirational messages, and anything else that fits into that genre.
I think back to every job I started, going back the last 20 years (and by the way 20 years flies by in the blink of an eye). I realized with a lot of certainty that Fear is what made me successful. It was not so much that I was ever in jeopardy of actually losing my job, ever had a bad review, or had ever been written up for poor performance. It was my attitude and approach- which were to work AS IF I was in Fear of losing my job. That approach caused me to outwork the competition both internally and externally. It made we want to learn the business and master my craft (think of the 10,000 hour rule… as in it takes 10,000 hours to master a competency). I knew early on that a good attitude and courage to ask the hard (and easy) questions was the key to maintaining an elevated level of performance.
I did have real fear every time I started a new job, and it was fear of failure. As I got older I realized it was more about letting myself down- which did not happen because I was driving harder and faster than everyone else and that is what kept me off of the hot seat.
Now the other thing I learned is that the whole “fear as a motivator” thing only works if it is something you create within yourself. If your boss is managing or leading you by fear then you probably need to consider a job change!
CSI Tech & Anteo Group Unit Manager