This excerpt from the book Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet by Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and William Damon (2001) struck a chord with me. I immediately thought of creative geniuses like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, but these observations equally apply to lesser minds who dedicate large aspects of their lives to working long hours more for the joy of the challenge of the work itself than the potential financial rewards.
Contributions by Creator-Leaders
A final source of change is innovation by individual practitioners. In every epoch, a few people come up with new ideas or ways of doing things, and if these innovations are accepted by others, dramatic transformations of the realm may result. …
Creative people are usually driven by curiosity and tend to be more intrinsically motivated – more interested in the rewards of intellectual discovery than in financial or status rewards. Therefore, they are often considered odd both by the general public and by fellow practitioners. But the reason innovators are less concerned with money and power is that they get their reward directly from their work. They are satisfied by the excitement and wonder involved in the process of discovery – a fulfillment no amount of money can buy. (20)
Barry Linetsky is President & CEO of Cognitive Consulting, Inc., and a Partner with The Strategic Planning Group, a Toronto-based consultancy. He is the author of The Business of Walt Disney and the Nine Principles of His Success (Theme Park Press, 2017) and Free Will: Sam Harris Has It (Wrong). His articles have been published by Ivey Business Journal and Rotman Magazine. Visit his website www.BarryLinetsky.com to find original articles and blog posts on Walt Disney and other management topics of interest to entrepreneurial executives. Follow Barry on Twitter @BizPhilosopher and on LinkedIn.
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