The Passion and the Paycheck


I recently read an overview of a book called “The Passion and the Paycheck” by Serena Williamson.  This author seems to have struck a nerve when she talks about people working at jobs that only provide compensation and little more.  She also pushes back on the excuse list that people throw up when they would prefer to complain about circumstances rather than take the time to assess what needs to change.  In a nutshell, she is my hero!

I run across people every day of the week earning a paycheck, wait a minute, I should rephrase that a bit because everyone I talk to in a week is getting a paycheck, only a few are earning their paycheck.  So what is the difference?

Showing up for work everyday, looking busy, attending a lot of meetings, and unable to respond to email or voice messages does not earn a star in my book as a productive person.  Especially in today’s economy!  In fact I rarely shed a tear when these folks find themselves unemployed because at least now they are earning their current paycheck.

I am impressed by the people that know what their company is all about.  They understand the mission, and values that their employer has, and work daily to help that company achieve success.  They have goals with deadlines, and they are focused on getting things done.  They are passionate about earning their paycheck.

A friend of mine was a consultant for 5 years, and then returned to running a learning organization full time.  He said “the money was too good to pass up!”  And yet, he told me recently that at the end of each week before he leaves, he tallies up in a journal what went well that week, what could have gone better, and what he accomplished.  He takes the list and writes down what he was paid next to it.  This he told me was his way of making sure that the work he did was equal to the amount he got paid.  Some weeks the company didn’t get their money’s worth, but he strives the following week to give them a bonus.

Tell me folks, do you earn your paycheck?  If not, is it because you are not passionate about the job?  Do everyone a favor, and become passionate about your work, make a difference, and earn your paycheck every single day!

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