The Key To Our Success

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From the moment we are born we develop both our motives and values.  Motives are deep-seated non-conscious desires and are the things that we enjoy doing.  Values develop through social conditioning – home, school, religion, work, friends etc. Values are what we feel are important; the things we should do.

David McClelland’s theory on human motivation states that in normal, healthy human beings there are 3 social motives and values that describe the widest range of behaviors:

  • achievement,
  • affiliation and
  • power.

Achievement is a concern for achieving a standard of excellence that the individual sets for him/herself.  Often people with a dominant achievement motive strive for mastery and expertise in their chosen field.

Affiliation is concerned with having positive relationships for the sake of the relationship (and not in service of something else).  Individuals with a dominant affiliation motive invest in a few, deep relationships and often have strong reactions towards others – they are clear whom they like and dislike.  They prefer environments that are convivial and foster friendship.

The power motive is a concern to have influence and impact on others.  People with a dominant power motive like to have an audience and visibility.  They are often good networkers.

There is no ‘right’ motive profile that determines success; we are all different.

The key to our success lies in understanding what drives our behavior in various situations; this is a combination of our motives and our values (what we believe is important at the time) and the conditions that we find ourselves in.

Defining personal success is a journey of self-discovery; you need to figure out what is your true purpose, what you are passionate about, what you enjoy and find ways at work to satisfy that need. You must to listen to your inner voice rather than be influenced by others so that you can lead a fulfilling life and not feel regret when you retire because you did not follow your heart.

Anja Uitdehaag

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