A while a go I hired someone. Part of the interview process was to administer a personality test. Later, after he got the job, he admitted that he had lied on the test to get a favorable profile.
The thing is the results still accurately predicted his behavior.
There’s always a way to lie or cheat on the test, but who does that benefit? Why take the test if you fear the answer? Of course, a test doesn’t have to be a paper and pencil thing. It can be a personality test, but also a sales target or a marketing objective or anything else of the sort. The question remains, if you feel you need to disguise the results doesn’t it show fear on your behalf or that of the organization?
At best lying on the test indicates your discomfort with your shortfalls and fear of learning at worst it can bring down the whole team.
There are two ways to look at the reward, whatever that reward is – revenue, commissions, trophies, a piece of candy. The reward can be the goal or it can be the consequence.
When it’s the goal, everything becomes about the reward. Everything we do is geared towards the desired revenue or commission. Every action we take is about getting to what was promised. Nothing is forbidden as long as the goal is reached.
On the other hand, when the reward is a consequence what takes precedence is the the actions, the work, the craft. The reward is an afterthought because there’s no way of knowing it will actually happen and so the process of doing, creating and transforming is what matters. If the reward comes, it only comes as a way to move a little further.
There isn’t a right way or a wrong way, just two ways to look at rewards. I would argue looking at the work is much harder than looking at the reward. And, it does seem though that those who have achieved great things value the craft above all. But I can’t say for sure.
I guess what matters is joining others who see them the same way you do so I’ll leave you with one question: Do you value the work or the reward?
As a leader or manager there are two ways I direct and inspire. I can say what to do or I can do. I can choose to give instructions or I can come down from the hill and get my hands dirty.
Doing doesn’t mean doing everyone’s work, but it does mean getting involved, caring about the end result and holding myself accountable for the outcome. It doesn’t mean micromanaging, it means getting down in the arena and working from there.
Ultimately which of the two I choose depends on what I want, a team that listens or a team that does.