What motivates you?

This apparently simple question is actually quite deceptive. Have you ever really taken the time to look within yourself and evaluate what motivates and drives you?

I’ve noticed several distinct categories that people fall into. Sometimes they shift between several of them, other times they are planted firmly in the middle of one category.

The first category is the “Look at Me” group. This group is all about doing things to gain the attention and admiration of others. They are the first to pat themselves on the back and for some reason they seem to always be front and center whenever a photo is taken or the media is present. They will regale their family and friends with tales of their daring heroics (and of course a little embellishment won’t hurt now will it).

Lets peel away the first layer of the “Look at Me” group and look a little deeper into their inner dynamics. Low self esteem coupled with the desire to prove themselves are often dominating characteristics. Many people suffer from low self esteem and they can either let it keep them down or actively work on trying to overcome it. Unfortunately many times they overcompensate and are perceived as show-offs or wanna-be’s. They try too hard to gain the approval of others that it has the opposite effect.

The next group is the “Don’t Look at Me” group. This group fears that getting attention will expose or draw out their short-comings and weaknesses. They are afraid that they will learn that what they are doing isn’t quite up to par. Low self esteem is also prevalent with this group, but they are more content staying where they are. While they may want to rise to another level their fear of sinking lower keeps them from progressing.

The third category is the “Super I”. This individual is a highly motivated and very competent individual and he knows it. He is closely linked to the “Look at Me” group but doesn’t have the low self esteem. He likes to shout out to all about his achievements and will do whatever is necessary to be the hero of every incident. While he is competent, his team members need to be on the look-out as this individual will do and say anything for his benefit at the expense of others. Team player is not in his vocabulary.

“Team-Us” is the last group. A member of this group is a self-confident person who is not so much worried about his own success or acknowledgement but rather is focus on the good of the team. He will do whatever is necessary for the team and what is best for the patient. He is not looking for glory but instead gets an internal satisfaction for a job well done. A member of “Team-Us” can be at any level of experience, they may be a probie or a seasoned vet. The key component is their attitude towards work, ethics, team and individual. This group truly epitomizes the saying “the sum of the parts equals more than the whole”. By concentrating on what is best for the team and working as such they are able to produce synergistic effects that far exceed what can be done otherwise.

So what motivates you? Do you know which group you fit into and are you comfortable being in that group. If not, take stock of your life, situation, attitude, desire and actions and work on changing. The good thing is that we all have the power within us to effect change.

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Comment by Ryan James Johnsrud on July 23, 2010 at 11:47am
Great post! I found it while looking for insight into Awards/recognition. I'm really interested to hear people's thoughts on department awards (both positive and negative). Hopefully, our department gets a better method of recording the time members actually put in so they can look at actual statistics when banquet time rolls around, not just straining to remember the funny/embarassing calls.
I believe member recognition and awards are not just self-serving, but that they play an important role in the department mentality: they also foster community awareness and a healthy level of competition (when your call response is low they give responders something to shoot for).
As we look to move forward with a member recognition program I would like to know what awards your departments offer and what are some of the pitfalls to avoid?

***I also started a group/discussion called "Service Awards", feel free to reply here or in that group. Sorry if this is redundant, but I am still learning how to post and interact on the network.***
Comment by Katherine Jones on July 3, 2010 at 11:40pm
thats an ecellent post! lots of great info and insight
Comment by Norm Tindell on July 2, 2010 at 11:14pm
Well stated, Cap. Heck, no, I don't think anyone in their right mind will admit being in either of the first three groups. I will be honest and say I have been in various stages of all, but in my old age have settled into...well you know...
Comment by Paul Dudan on July 2, 2010 at 7:38am
Excellent Captain. Thanks for the read
Comment by Station10Capt106 on July 1, 2010 at 2:46pm
I don't think so. Like I said it seems like a simple question but when it comes down to it, it is extremely hard to be completely honest with yourself. I will admit that I have rose-colored glasses on when it comes to how I view myself. I've also tried hard over the years to overcome that and honestly identify my strength & weaknesses. Wish I could say that I have completely overcome it but if I did I'd be lying.
Comment by Station10Capt106 on July 1, 2010 at 2:08pm
kali, you reminded me of a speaker once that said 1 in 3 people is an idiot. Then he had us look to the left and then look to the right and if we couldn't tell which one was the idiot then it was probably us.
Comment by Jack/dt on July 1, 2010 at 2:05pm
I think if everyone were on "Team-Me" things around here would run a lot better.
There may not be an I in Team, but there are 2 U's in F**k you© damnthing enterprises.
Comment by Rusty Mancini on July 1, 2010 at 1:48pm
Truly a great post but I feel the sense of some just don't get it! Their so stuck on the look-ie me syndrome that they will keep their blinders on for self gratification. Team-Us will accomplish a positive out come of the situation at the end of the day.

Great post Capt.

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