Professional pride goes a very, very long way to doing great work. Do a good job; feel proud; feel more inspired and motivated; do an even better job. It’s a self-fulfilling cycle.
Pride drives performance, and performance drives pride
This topic came up in a gathering of creative people I attended last week. We all run our own businesses, and while chewing the fat over marketing and sales and clients, we got to talking about what inspires us. You’d be forgiven for thinking that in a room of unsalaried consultants money would be the prime driver. We all have bills to pay and families to support, after all.
But no, we agreed unanimously that pride is a much more powerful motivator for us.
For me personally, I’d genuinely rather work on a project that inspires and excites me than a project that’s more financially lucrative. And so far, nine months into my independent life, I’ve not yet taken on anything purely for the money that I wasn’t interested in. That’s a great feeling after more than a decade of agency life, where you often have to work on projects you don’t have any affinity with, clients you don’t like or products you don’t even believe in.
Pride in your work enables you to exceed expectations and create lasting change. It generates a sense of anticipation about the satisfaction your success will glean. And anticipating that feeling generates energy and commitment to deliver great results. As those results contribute to success, recognition instills further feelings of pride and anticipation of future results. And on and on.
On the other hand, ticking boxes is the enemy of pride. If you get that soul-sucking feeling of doing the same thing over and over again with no sense of or belief in why you’re doing it, pride, motivation and results will plummet.
And from a social media perspective, I see this a lot. Twitter accounts run by people who are obviously doing nothing more than ticking that box. Facebook Pages with a dearth of inspiring content and no effort to switch things up. There’s an obvious lack of pride in these properties. And, to be quite honest, they suck.
Pride, though it can’t be quantified, has immense value.
As I’ve already stated, I take great pride in my work as an independent consultant, whether that be strategic advice, training or tactical implementation. I strive to provide the very best advice I can, and I take pride in seeing my clients reaping the rewards of that advice.
What gives you pride?
When I look back over my time in agency life, there are two things I’m really proud of. First, I’m proud of the fact that my work was recognised by my peers in the form of multiple awards. It’s not the awards per-se, it’s the fact that the work I did that I thought was great, other people I respect also thought was great. That’s a nice feeling.
And second, I’m exceptionally proud of the team I built at my former agency and where those people are now. Claire Dunford is now European Social Media Manager at Honda, Emily Mukalazi is now Social Media Marketing Manager at LEGO and Victoria Coppin is now Digital Account Director at PR agency Cirkle. If I had even a small role to play in their development, that’s something very special.
Now over to you. It’s your turn. What role does pride play in your working life? And what achievements are you particularly proud of?