Can you pay talent with a story?

Which company has the audacity to outsmart it’s competitors and go after the world’s best manager, not by offering her the largest pay check, the fanciest car or the biggest bonus?

No, this company will seduce her because it has the best new product in town, it has the most motivated staff in the world and it has the greatest story to tell.

Unlikely?

Do you believe the only way you can attract talented people is by offering them a lot of money?

I don’t buy it. Do you?

I’ve always felt uncomfortable when I heard people saying that a manager should be payed a lot of money because otherwise he or she would leave, or because that’s what the market is paying.

Recently I’ve met a couple of people at a workshop who held a management position for a couple of years (one in an IT-firm, the other one in a bank and yet another one at a public administration office).

Every month these people received a nice pay check. Yet all three quit their jobs to go and work for a more humane organization.

Their current job pays less, that is to say, it pays less money. And of course all of them had stories of friends telling them they were fools to quit their former jobs.

Yet these people all felt richer than ever. Why? Because the reward of their current job is much bigger.

When these people now talk about their job, they really have a story to tell.

I’m interested anyway because I want to know how on earth a succesful IT manager quit his job to work as a social worker. I want to know why this new job is so much more appealing.

If I’m so happy with the company I’m working for, it’s because I have a great story to tell, a story which enriches my life, which delivers me the attention and reward of the people I talk to, which makes me a bigger person, a bit more superbly human than before.

How about you?

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