76% of high-performance employees say trade mastery, not money, most important in career decisions.
William Belk

Hi William:

Your article reminds me of an old TED talk from Dan Pink (The puzzle of motivation). What you said resonates what everyone still aspires to, including myself. My only fear is that this could be used as an pretext for offering below market salary, while expecting stellar performance.

I see this kind of can-do attitude often from my younger direct reports, and I wish I still retain such vigor and vitality at my old age. On the other hand, as their mentor, I often see how they easily gave way to their bravado and ended up being exploited. Being persuaded to take more assignments than they can personally handle is a classic example. I am sure they see it as either “making a difference” or “mastering their trade”, but I have been around the block long enough to make that judgement.

It is true, there is still much to gain in intangible growth, such as recognition and the satisfaction and experience in solving a very difficult problem. I just want to see this as a voluntary, conscious and informed decision from an individual, not simply some kind of psychological leverage designed to maximize their output without appropriate remuneration.