Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Motivated by Money? Not Necessarily So....

My husband shared yet another motivational story from the conference he attended. This time it was about George Washington.

Loving history, my husband even became a bit emotional while recounting the event.

It was in the winter. All that was left between the outcome of America's Independence from England were a few cold, starving, men. The odds were great against them.

Washington made a desperate appeal. They were wanting to go home. Home to their families. Home to their hearths and hearts. They had seen too much death, disease, defeat.

Washington went before them and told them if they would but stay longer and help fight, he would make sure each man received $10.00 extra at the end. Ten dollars was an enormous sum for families at that time.

No one moved. No one came forward to re-enlist.

Washington realizing money was not going to keep them, told them from his heart that they were all he had left. He told them he understood why they wanted to leave, and if he could call upon others to take their place, to relieve them, he would.

But he could not. They were his last hope. He had no one else to ask.

To his surprise every man stepped forward to re-enlist. No one left.

We know the end of the story. Each 4th of July we are reminded of sacrifices made for our freedom and liberty.

For those who have studied in business school and history of business, there are many theories about how to motivate staff members or employees. Money is surprisingly not the primary motivating factor for long-term satisfaction.

Don't get me wrong. It certanly helps. Money can even become a deterrent for job performance if too low on the salary scale.

-But for a long-term satisfaction element, money does not suffice.

Now having a cause, feeling you are part of something bigger than yourself, feeling you matter, make a difference....those are powerful motivators.

One man told the story of his father who worked for Rolls Royce ages ago. He made very little money. His son asked why he stayed. He told his father, who was brilliant, how he could make so much more money elsewhere. His father said that he could go to work each day, and if he had idea on how to make something better, he could go to his supervisor and be heard. His ideas had even been implemented and he had been recognized for his ideas. His name would be put on the process or implementation.

He told his son how being heard and recognized made him feel far more important than any salary could. He was there to stay.

I think about the church in comparison, about us as Christians in fact. Do we recognize other Christians for their importance in this life? Do we ourselves work for a greater cause that just going through the motions daily? What motivates us? In turn, how are we motivating other Christians to continue on, witnessing for Jesus, helping others go to heaven as well?
Christ calls us to lift each other up as members of the church body. I don't know if I am doing that enough.

I am rethinking how I motivate those around me. I am rethinking my own "cause" in life.

"I can not tell a lie." I hope you do the same.

For His Glory,

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