Work for a Cause, Not for Applause

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Work for a cause, not for applause. Live to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noted, just make your absence felt.

It’s a human need to feel loved, valued, and appreciated. Our self-esteem soars whenever we gain recognition, driving us to work harder and be even more recognized. Yet lurking beneath this need is the tendency to be a recognition addict, a person who does things for the hunger of being noticed. Although it may be beneficial in the workplace, it could easily turn us into insincere, attention-hungry individuals who are willing to cheat or lie just to feel special.

In his compelling article “We Must Stop Being Recognition Addicts in the Workplace,” Glenn Llopis writes about the danger of seeking recognition instead of respect in the workplace. “The great difference between the recognized man and the respected man is the difference of the head and heart. The recognized man appeals to the head where things are easily forgotten. The respected man captivates the heart. And the heart does not forget.”

Recognition is not synonymous to respect.
While an employer can gain recognition for his performance, it doesn’t necessarily suggest that people like working with him. In a workplace, there’ll be people who insist to do things their way in order to be recognized solely for a job well done. We may succeed on our own but it won’t be as rewarding as sharing it with other people. And when we do fail, we fail without a comrade to have beer with.


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