Sunday, December 23, 2007

Passion Alone Is Not Enough For You Or Anybody Else

Love Your Job? That Doesn't Mean Youre Better at It - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

Love Your Job? That Doesn’t Mean You’re Better at It according to a recent article by Melissa Lafsky via the Freakonomics Blog.

"So is it really a fact that happiness breeds a better worker?

"Not necessarily, according to Wright State University psychologist Nathan Bowling. In a new paper called “Is the job satisfaction–job performance relationship spurious? A meta-analytic examination,” he re-assesses conclusions from five previous meta-analyses of the Big Five personality traits. He also conducts his own meta-analysis of the issue, focusing on studies that used data from thousands of employees and controlled for work-related self-esteem (how valuable employees think they are) and locus of control (how much they think they’ll be rewarded for a job well done)."

"His conclusion is right out of a Freakonomics lesson in causation vs. correlation:"

"My study shows that a cause and effect relationship does not exist between job satisfaction and performance. Instead, the two are related because both satisfaction and performance are the result of employee personality characteristics, such as self-esteem, emotional stability, extroversion and conscientiousness."

So the fact we have passion alone is not only not enough to sustain us through the ordeals we are likely to find ahead, its not enough to get anybody to want to keep us around. It seems to be more a matter of who you are in terms of values and character than what you want. Then again who your are dictates to a great extent what it is that you want out of life. People who are passionate are not necessarily good at what they do, but so often I find that people who are good at what they do are passionate.

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