Recognition is a big motivator for me. I cannot function to my utmost potential unless I am getting constant feedback and recognition for my effort. And by recognition, I don’t mean praise — there is a difference between recognition and praise. I see recognition as a feedback loop: you get recognized for the efforts you put in and that means you were successful in your efforts.
For me, recognition is not limited to the feedback I receive on a narrow set of deliverables that I turn out every day. It is the satisfaction on my client’s face. It is the trust I cultivate and nurture with my client. It is the knowledge that my efforts are helping someone achieving their goals.
Sometimes it is easy to get this recognition and sometimes it is not, and that makes or breaks the deal for me. I think that is the reason why I prefer customer-facing roles. When my feedback loop coming from the client, is delayed, due to multiple management layers and/or other intermediaries, I run out of motivation — it is like someone unplugs some chord for me.
Now this is a fairly unreasonable demand coming from someone who loves being a consultant. We are super-flexible machines that deliver the desired results, come rain or snow, blizzard or earthquake. So how can we have these preferences? Well, this where I use my theory – You can do a decent job, and get results or you can do an outstanding job and get the same (ok lets say similar) results. Just that in the latter, you are in it with your heart and mind — while in the former, you just use your mind and leave the heart for the “post 5pm syndrome” (more on this later).
I am amazed at our ability to adapt – how we tame ourselves to work around different cultures, personalities and environments, is still a mystery to my slowly developing brain. I have my put my heart, mind and soul into most of my projects. And I can only hope this trend continues.