Saturday, February 29, 2020

Doing Your Best Work


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No one does their best work out of compliance or out of obligation. 

No one does their best work expecting a reward. 

We do our best work when we see it as a privilege, a contribution, and an enjoyable experience. We do our best work because we want to, not because we have to.

Can you do quality work out of obligation or compliance? Probably so. But you won't do your best work.

Can you do quality work to earn a reward? Probably so. Many people will work very hard for rewards. But again, I don't believe you do your best work for rewards.

I'm not suggesting you won't try hard even if it's out of compliance or even to seek a reward.

But your passion, your purpose, your gifts are greater than transactions. 

This for that. 

Give to get. 

Rewards and punishments.

You'll do your best work when you care about the work. When you care about the people who benefit from your work.

The reward is in the work itself and the opportunity to contribute to something larger than yourself. It's the opportunity to make a difference. It's the opportunity to do something of significance. It's the opportunity to use your unique gifts and strengths in meaningful ways.

Your best work comes from your desire to add value to others. It's from a desire to contribute, not from a desire to be highly esteemed or to avoid punishment.

It's not that we "have to," it's that we "get to" contribute from our very best selves.

Teachers and leaders must create conditions where students/others can do their best work. That means they need a measure of autonomy to use their gifts. They need a purpose larger than themselves. And they need the opportunity to take risks, be creative, and make choices about their learning and the direction of their efforts.

If we're creating an environment driven by compliance or by rewards and punishments, we may get more work out of people, but we won't enjoy the best work from people.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent article. It caused me to reflect on my own work ethics and principles. I strongly believe and support its content. I plan to share with my colleagues during our upcoming staff meeting next week.

    ReplyDelete

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