How do you raise your kids to have ambition? Drive?
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/27/2013 by benem in NSBR Board
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benem
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:18:27 PM
I just had this long conversation with my friend's young adult son last night. I won't go into details, but to my outside eyes a lot of his issues come from him just not having much drive. His parents have given him everything he needs and most of what he wants as well. They paid for him to go to art school, and after he couldn't get a job with just one summer of trying, they are now paying for his BA. And thye just bought him a car too. He's a good kid, sweet, loving, charming, friendly. But he is not driven to try and move out and be on his own or to suffer for the things he claims he wants.

I wonder if my friend (his mom) spoiled him. Is ambition or drive something inherent in a personality or have you trained or raised your kids to have it? How?

Just wondering....

andtyler
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:38:48 PM
Great question. I don't think that success is possible without ambition.

andtyler
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:38:48 PM
Great question. I don't think that success is possible without ambition.

HeidiJo
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:47:44 PM
I think you hit on it in your post--don't give your kids everything they want! Why would they have any ambition or drive to get or achieve anything if it's always just handed to them? Make them work for what they want.

tamhugh
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:58:49 PM
Nightowl, you just described my younger son to a T. He frustrates us a lot because he is so bright, but if he doesn't like it, he doesn't apply himself. We thought he was really happy at college, but he told us last week before going back, that he likes the school but hates living in the city. Now he is looking to transfer. If it is a class he is interested in, he does great with no effort. If it isn't, he skate by.

Older DS was always driven. He wanted to be good at sports, good in school, and wanted people to like him. In some ways, you would never think they are brothers, even though they were raised in the same home wth the same parents. But, if I am honest, in many ways, I worry less about the younger one. He is stubbornly true to himself. He will make mistakes, but he won't be pressured into them. He is never going to have a heart attack caused by stress. He is comfortable with who he is.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:39:16 PM
Nightowl is so right. Part of it is how you raise your children, but a lot is just what they're born with.

I've seen so many kids who were spoiled rotten and turned out great. OR turned out rotten. And so many kids whose parents did all the right things but their adult children still struggle or went downright bad. OR turned out great.

And lots of in-betweens. It's not simple enough to just lay the blame (or credit) on parenting.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:41:50 PM
Do you think there is anything to birth order?

My oldest is very driven. Middle child is also, but more mellow in personality. Third (and baby of the family) is exactly what Nightowl described.

Our kids are given a lot, but they also don't get everything their friends do. They are expected to work for us and they also have outside jobs during the summer. They don't have to pay for phone, car, tuition, etc.

I wish I knew the secret to motivate my youngest. The potential is there, I just hope it is uncovered before he gets much older.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:42:04 PM
With three kids that are very different, and my husband and I are very driven, I really think it is a particular combination of nature and nurture.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:42:13 PM
I don't think you can raise them to have either. It's inside - and you can't force it.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:45:01 PM
pretty much what Nightowl said.

I think the person has to have the internal 'something' to drive them to do what they want/need to do or they wont do it.

One of my kids has less than the other 2 and to get him to do something is like pulling teeth if he doesn't want to do it.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:59:37 PM
From what I have seen - the phrase "children learn what they live" is pretty true. If they see that their parents are driven and have ambition, they will too.

My father was very driven and ambitious and worked he way up the corporate ladder. My mother, was a SAHM, but she also had drive and ambition, was always meeting new people, learning new things and when we where in high school, she took a part time job just to do something different.

My siblings and I all have the same kind of drive, we all worked our way up the corporate ladders and we are all top leaders at our companies. We work do the best we can at home too - we just mimic the way our parents lived.

Children really do watch their parents and use them as examples for their lives.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 10:52:10 PM
I agree with Nightowl and others. I think it is a combination of nature and nurture with nature playing a more significant role. I always excelled in school. Straight A's, top of the class, all that. No one ever had to pressure me to do well because I had this innate desire to achieve. I remember feeling that way from the time I was 5 years old. I also see it in my own children...my oldest is his father made over when it comes to school. Just does enough to get by. Then there's my youngest who always wants to be the best. They were both raised in the same environment but are polar opposites in that respect.

With all that said, I believe a person can find an area to be ambitious about. DH wasn't a very motivated student and went through a few jobs before he found one that clicked for him. He has since gone on to excel at that job taking classes for certifications to move himself up the ladder. So even if nature stacks the deck against you, I believe you can overcome it with the right catalyst.
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IleneTell
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Posted: 1/27/2013 11:07:27 PM
If you want to learn more about this topic, this book had a lot of interesting info and points: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Kiwipolz
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Posted: 1/28/2013 12:00:59 AM

His parents have given him everything he needs and most of what he wants as well.

Well, he has done well to get everything ne needs and most of what he wants out of his parents. Maybe he used drive to get that. Path of least resistance etc.

My cousin is like this. He is 24, unemployed and has been for 4 years. In 2007, my Nan offered to leave me her house in her will, provided I let him live with me. I said no way. That would be a life sentence for me. She has since changed her will to leave him the house. She is 79 and pretty much given up driving, so he has her car as well. He lives with her and pays nothing for it because 'he needs me to take care of him'. Really, he has achieved what most people work their whole life for - a freehold house and no responsibilities.

I guess he might be motivated to work to get a bigger house or another car but he is just one single person, so he is happy where he is.

peapermint
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Posted: 1/28/2013 1:11:57 AM
Someone once told me that you can have high self-esteem or you can have drive -- but you can't have both.

I'm pretty sure that's b.s., but it was an intriguing enough concept for me to roll it around in my head for awhile.

benem
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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:06:13 AM
Hm maybe that's true. Maybe I have so much drive bc I am not happy with my life the way it is. I kind of see this in my friend's son. He is pretty happy with what he has and can get. He just wishes his father was not so unreasonable. I told him, money is power. When you take your parents' money, they have power over your life. If you want to do whatever else the solution is to move out and live life on your own terms. But why should he-- except for his dad being a hard ass he really has it made where he is.
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:17:14 AM
I hope it's requiring real, ongoing responsibility (chores) beyond busy work.

My kids are not only capable in the house but last summer when it was near 100 degrees our 15 yo was home alone when the pasture fence broke. He went out of his own volition and worked for hours in the heat to repair the problem because it needed doing. He didn't call his parents he just did it.

Ditto firewood - if you want heat you work

He's also a referee which entails showing up early and staying late and being on the job in a very visible sense the entire time.

My point being I hope to tie ambition and work to the things we enjoy in life.
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:23:51 AM
I don't think that giving kids an education means that they will lose their ability to motivate themselves. I think that's laying blame on someone for making a different decision than what you would do.

Motivation, drive and ambition are inherent traits in people, either you have it or you don't. It's not really something that can be taught, though it can be encouraged. Some people are naturally driven to excel, others just prefer to skate along.

Either you have it or not, it's not something that's given to children from their parents. It can be influenced, but cannot be given or demanded by anyone but the person themselves.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:25:52 AM
I think you have to give them goals early in life that require hard work to attain. I think finding an activity that your child loves so much they are willing to work to be better at it is one way, whether it be a musical instrument, sport, dance, etc. For my DD it is swim team. She can see a direct correlation between working hard at practice and doing better at meets.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:46:44 AM
I think it is a complicated mix of nature and nuture.


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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:05:04 AM
I think a lot of it is what you're born with.

Both DH and I own(ed) our own businesses, A type personalities, worked hard, with a lot of long hours. The kids spent a lot of time at the office so they know what hard work is. We have managed to raise one capitalist, and one who is happy to to be a good girl, isn't particularly motivated by money or rewards, doesn't respond one way or the other to bribes or incentives, but achieves good mddle of the road successes. She's happy with what she has, whereas DS is driven to do better, earn more, be the best at whatever he does etc.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:15:39 AM
I think everybody has some innate ambition or drive. It just may not be in areas that are seen by society as being the "right" ones - career, money, etc. And I think that the areas in which each person's ambition lies has as much to do with innate personality characteristics as anything else. Otherwise, how do you explain families where some siblings are highly successful and others seem to be "slackers" by comparison? They're all raised the same way, right?

Some people are driven to succeed in their career. They're drawn to a high-paying career and motivated to do well at it. Others have ambitions to be an artist or musician and don't care if they're never rich doing it. Others are ambitious in the area of social justice, or there's a recreational sport they like, or maybe they're just driven to succeed at video games or fixing up old cars or being the very best wife and homemaker on the block.

The point is that we can't choose what our kids' passions will be. Neither of my parents would have chosen music for me, but I knew from a very young age that it was the one driving passion of my life and it remains the only area in which I have any ambitions.

I think my job as a parent is to help my kids find out what their passions are and then to open up as many avenues as possible for them to succeed in those areas. And when they're adults, to keep my mouth shut if their idea of "success" doesn't necessarily align with mine. That doesn't mean I have to continue to support them into adulthood. It just means that I need to not criticize however they define success.

I do think some values - like self-reliance and responsibility - are largely taught, but those are separate from ambition.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:16:20 AM
While that may be the case with the person you're speaking of, I don't know if that's true with all people.

I have two children 17 and 13. My 17 yr. old is a stand-out athlete, a great student and VERY motivated in everything she does. She works a part time job on the weekends and she volunteers.

My 13 yr. old is not motivated to do much of anything other than the basics to get by. He used to be a straight A student and now just getting him to complete his homework and turn it in is a struggle.

They were raised in the same home with both parents in the exact same way. Yet are both so, very different.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:56:29 AM
I've been thinking of this post since I read it earlier today. I would like to share my personal experience. My kids are only 3 & 8 and I hope end up having more drive and ambition than myself.

Growing up, things came easy for me - making friends, being creative, doing well in school. I was easy going (I am the last born btw). My parents always said you can do what ever you want to do it life, but it stopped there. I was not spoiled at all. I worked when I was 14 (babysitting) until I could get real payroll type job. I always worked hard to earn my money.

But with all that said, I gave up too early on a lot of things. While I did very well in high school, I was never pushed to take level 4 honors classes. I went to college but never really pushed to get into a great school. I got a two year degree because I just decided one day that I didn't want to be at that particular 4 year college anymore. I didn't have any "drive" to explore more options. When the going got tough, I quit. I did not push and work thru the obstacles. I just don't have that drive in me. Most of my late teens and twenties, I just couldn't commit myself to anything. Just a temporary girl living a temporary life.

Now as an adult, I realize that during high school I would have really benefitted from a mentor. Someone who believed in me and to give me that push. I should have given more of my all to succeed and not just back down when I failed or got overwhelmed. It does bother me from time to time that I didn't push to find a career that would fit me.

I think another secret to drive and ambition is having the self esteem to just keep going past obstacles that stand in your way.

benem
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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:18:48 AM
This has been a really interesting thread, thank you.

I talk about this a lot with my young cousin, who just graduated from my alma mater last May. Now she has a degree (in Art History) and what is she going to do with her life? She doesn't know. She is very smart but doesn't have a dream to pursue.

In terms of my friend's son, he is very interested in 3-D modeling and he studied that at art school. He is very good at it, and very good at all kinds of design. Our conversation came up bc he was complaining about his dad being too controlling and unreasonable (IMO too controlling but that's another thread). And I said, the solution is to move out. He gave me a bunch of reasons why he couldn't but to me they were all just excuses. He doesn't have any real reason to move out. He looked for a job and yes he put in applications, but the thing he wouldn't do in art school was pursue any kind of internships to get work experience. Now he is getting his BA and the same thing. I keep telling his mother, he needs to not go to school this summer, he NEEDS to get some work experience and most importantly references. Her attitude is that if he doesn't have school he will be sitting around the house all summer, doing not much of anything.

He is a lot like his mother. She is definitely not a slacker or lazy in any way. She is willing to do the work if work is required. But.. sometimes just doing the work is not enough. I don't believe that if you just show up and do what is required, doors will open and the red carpet will be rolled out by life. I wish it was like that but I have been proven wrong in that too much. I think if your goal is hard and your chances are slim, you have got to be willing to do whatever it takes, and some suffering is included. He has been taught to do the work, but knows nothing about suffering. He's been protected from all of that.

Really I was just wondering if there is a way parents instill ambition in their kids, but I guess not.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 1:51:31 PM

He is a lot like his mother. She is definitely not a slacker or lazy in any way. She is willing to do the work if work is required. But.. sometimes just doing the work is not enough. I don't believe that if you just show up and do what is required, doors will open and the red carpet will be rolled out by life. I wish it was like that but I have been proven wrong in that too much.


This is where I think that internal drive part is missing. I saw it a lot with my employees. They would show up on time, do good work, but not outstanding work, grumble if they had to stay late to finish a project, and God forbid, don't even mention coming in on a weekend...then they would wonder why they didn't get lavish raises.

I have tried to teach my kids to reach further than is necessary, and we certainly modeled that behavior for them. But, as I said earlier, we have one child who is a problem solver, a negotiator, and a hard worker. The other one does a good job, never complains, occasionally does more than she's asked, but only if she wants to. She's sweet, nice, polite, but not the least bit driven to win.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:01:12 PM
I think it is mostly innate, coupled with what is modeled.

I grew up fairly privileged. I wanted for nothing. I didn't work in high school or during the school year in college. My parents paid for college 100%. It was always clear that those benefits were not owed to me, but were given to make my life a little easier (my mom's youth was not pleasant).

Yet I am ambitious and driven and always have been and so are two of my three brothers (both biological and step).

It's what we saw from our parents growing up and it was always made EXTREMELY clear to us that we had the lifestyle we had because our parents worked very hard for it. If we wanted a similar lifestyle when we were grown, we too would have to work hard for it.


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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:31:22 PM

It's what we saw from our parents growing up and it was always made EXTREMELY clear to us that we had the lifestyle we had because our parents worked very hard for it. If we wanted a similar lifestyle when we were grown, we too would have to work hard for it.


I'm glad to hear you say that. I worry sometimes about our kids growing up with so much more than DH and I had, and wonder if HAVING to work for a better life was part of what resulted in us being ambitious. But hopefully our kids will grow up this way too, even though they will have more handed to them and a safety net always there.

ETA: I do always make it a point of making it clear to DD (DS is too young for that yet) that we had to earn everything we have and we didn't grow up with it, and that if she wants a good life down the road, she will have to work for it as well and try hard. Hopefully just explaining this to her will sink in.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:40:54 PM

I do always make it a point of making it clear to DD (DS is too young for that yet) that we had to earn everything we have and we didn't grow up with it, and that if she wants a good life down the road, she will have to work for it as well and try hard. Hopefully just explaining this to her will sink in.

My parents told us explicitly that's why we had what we did, and they also were very clear that the gravy train would not go on forever. We were always expected to be top performers in school because we had the luxury of not working. If we didn't perform, there would be consequences, no doubt about it (luckily none of us ever found out what they would be).

It was also abundantly clear from very early on that after college, we were on our own. There was no coming home to live to find ourselves, save money, because it was "too hard" out there, etc.. We'd had ample time and every opportunity to be prepared to be on our own. And be on our own we would be. Not in a cruel way - if something terrible happened to us, they would certainly help - but in a "it is time for you to make the most of all that you have been given" way.

Because of their parenting style over the years, we knew they were serious about that, so none of us tested that boundary.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:43:14 PM

It was also abundantly clear from very early on that after college, we were on our own. There was no coming home to live to find ourselves, save money, because it was "too hard" out there, etc.. We'd had ample time and every opportunity to be prepared to be on our own. And be on our own we would be. Not in a cruel way - if something terrible happened to us, they would certainly help - but in a "it is time for you to make the most of all that you have been given" way.

Because of their parenting style over the years, we knew they were serious about that, so none of us tested that boundary.


Sounds like your parents really did a great job parenting ...it's a good example to learn from.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:47:13 PM

Sounds like your parents really did a great job parenting ...it's a good example to learn from.

They really did. Of course, there were times when it didn't *feel* that way

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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:47:15 PM
I think drive comes from within. We've treated our kids the same and given them pretty much the same material things throughout the years, yet they have very different levels of ambition, from D3 who is extremely driven, to D1 who is moderately ambitious, to D2 with no ambition or motivation whatsoever.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:58:15 PM
I think that parents having expectations can increase drive.

I also think that this boy talked about in the op is lucky his parents are allowing him and giving him the time to find his passion. I don't find that spoiling someone, but my parents would have done the same thing for me... to an extent.

I do think that finding a passion is important in finding ambition. Too many kids today are rushed into making career choices too early, as early as high school, and IMO that kills passion. Why do we have so many adults moving from career to career nowadays or completely miserable in their career? It would be great if we had more time to try out different options.

I also think ambition in life comes when you find a passion for life - a special partner, a place you'd live to live,

benem
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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:00:42 PM

It's what we saw from our parents growing up and it was always made EXTREMELY clear to us that we had the lifestyle we had because our parents worked very hard for it. If we wanted a similar lifestyle when we were grown, we too would have to work hard for it.


That's what I am talking about. He doesn't get that. When I talk to him, the things he says, it's like he really doesn't see how much work and how much effort his parents have put in to give him the life he has now.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:07:49 PM

I think there's a difference between ambition and drive, and the recognition that you arent forever going to be handed stuff. 2 different issues, and I see them getting confused with all the "my parents taught me I had to work for a living" stories.


You don't think knowing that they won't be handed stuff forever makes people more ambitious? Knowing that they have to find a way to support themselves?

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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:35:51 PM
I agree with Nightowl. Two of my brothers and I are intrinsically ambitious and our parents leveraged that. The lessons they modeled/taught had a different impact on us. Our other brother is a responsible adult, but lacks ambition. There are clear personality differences between us that have been apparent since childhood. He also learned lessons for our parents, but they are manifested differently in his life.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:40:58 PM
Good points, Nightowl. So do you think then that drive/ambition is something that can be taught? Or fostered?

benem
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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:57:33 PM

Wanting to be the very best you can be at something is ambition. Or as the dictionary puts it

an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment


Well that's not how I was using it in this thread. I was specifically talking about getting off your butt and moving forward in spite of obstacles bc you have this internal drive to be successful in life (in whatever way you want to define it). I guess my friend's son would then have a lot of "ambition" bc he sure is good at video games. And he does work at his schooling and he does do well there.

I was talking about not being satisfied with the status quo of your life and being willing to do whatever it takes to get where you need to go, bc you have this internal drive that pushes you to do it. IN particular, I meant the internal drive for independence.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 4:17:14 PM
Having to support yourself is a motivation. Wanting to be the very best you can be at something is ambition.



I agree with this... I think ambition / drive / whatever you want to call it is something that's innate in some people, and not others. I think I would be very much like Nightowl's second DS in that I try/do a lot of different things, but lose interest in them after a while. I love the initial 'rush' of learning something new, I guess, but don't like finishing things- whether it's work related projects, my newest SB page, craft project, whatever it is. Oh, I finish things at work, because that's what I'm paid to do, but truthfully, I sometimes have to force myself to do it, even there.

I guess my 'ambition' is the thrill of learning, but I haven't figured out if there's a way to parlay that particular ambition into a paying career (nor am I driven- pun intended, lol- to figure it out).

Sometimes I kinda wish I was one of those people who know what 'it' is- that thing, that passion, whatever- that leads them to achieve great things-- so I could absolutely work towards it every day of my life and 'work hard without it feeling like work because I love it so very much' but I'm not sure it's out there for everyone... or at least it's not for me. And sometimes, I think it's more the fact that our society focuses so very much on this kind of drive or ambition as a measure of personal success, which leads people who truly aren't like that to feel there's something lacking in them.




I-95
It's all just nonsense anyway!

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Posted: 1/28/2013 4:41:56 PM

I realize you are talking about specific people who you know and there is probably more to this, but just wanted to say that staying late and working weekends does not always mean someone doesn't have drive. DH read studies some years ago that showed people often got less work done overall when needing to stay late and work weekends often. The work was just spread out more. He used to work a lot of nights and Saturdays, but he found he was out of balance. He now works less, feels better, gets more work done and his boss feels he is essential to the company


I hear what you're saying. I was speaking specifically of people I had employed. It was a manufacturing company, so for the most part, these were blue collar workers. Most were HS grads, some weren't, but generally speaking, they lacked the drive to advance. They weren't asked all that often to work late, or come in on a weekend, but if we were flat to the floor with large orders, it was sometimes necessary.

Even though their jobs were basic line workers and machine operators, there was still an opportunity for any of them to advance to floor managers, production managers, shipping and receiving etc. We had a program that would pay for their tuition if they wanted to take work relate classes, or even get a degree ...nobody from the factory side of the building ever did.

I had one employee who worked for me for 15 years, it was his first job out of HS. He knew how every job on the factory floor was done, was well liked by all the employees, but was never interested in a promotion, just happy to do his job and not be responsible for anything else. Used to drive me crazy. He was a smart kid, good looking, responsible, honest, did his job extremely well, but had no desire to put out anything more than what was required. While I was grateful to have such a great employee, from a purely personal standpoint, I wanted so much more for him, and he was capable of achieving so much more.... he just didn't want to.

busypea
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Posted: 1/28/2013 4:49:06 PM

I had one employee who worked for me for 15 years, it was his first job out of HS. He knew how every job on the factory floor was done, was well liked by all the employees, but was never interested in a promotion, just happy to do his job and not be responsible for anything else. Used to drive me crazy. He was a smart kid, good looking, responsible, honest, did his job extremely well, but had no desire to put out anything more than what was required. While I was grateful to have such a great employee, from a purely personal standpoint, I wanted so much more for him, and he was capable of achieving so much more.... he just didn't want to.

But you know what? We NEED people like that. Who are dedicated to and great at the "lower level" jobs.

I see it in banking a lot. We have a lot of tellers who have been in that position for decades and are GREAT at it. It's a mystery to me because I can't imagine not wanting to advance. But they love what they do. They love their customers. They love the detail work. They just love it and are excellent at it.

Without them, our bank would not be as good. If all tellers - who ARE the bank to many people - didn't want to be in those jobs and only looked at it as a stepping stone, our customer service would be worse.

People who are always looking for the next best thing can be excellent at what they are doing now, but their heart isn't (usually) in what they are doing now, and that does have an impact.

That's obviously an industry-specific example, but those kinds of roles and people who fill them exist everywhere.

Everyone can't be CEO and it's OK if everyone doesn't want to be. If they take pride in what they do and strive to be the best at what they do, I think that's awesome.

I-95
It's all just nonsense anyway!

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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:31:35 PM

But you know what? We NEED people like that. Who are dedicated to and great at the "lower level" jobs.



I don't disagree, but in your OP you asked about whether ambition and drive were inherent, or taught. My employee was just an example of someone who is not inherently ambitious, and don't have much drive. Not a bad thing at all....just my natural A type personality that can't wrap my head around the desire to stay in a low level, ergo low paying job, for the rest of your life. If it makes them happy, it's OK with me....and I have one of those kids myself....I can train her to be a good employee, but I can't make her aspire to be the CEO, or even a VP.

I get that some people don't want the responsibility, or the money, or the challenge, and that's fine. I don't believe parental guidance, a cheering squad, or anything else will motivate a person who lacks the inherent desire, to kick down barriers and shoot for the moon. Those who do have it, nothing will stop them.

pennyring
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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:42:05 PM
I think some people are born with a motor and some aren't. I also think parents can foster one or the other which can help with either personality type.

But ultimately, I think you are who you are, and ultimately, that personality will come out if it isn't squelched.

I do have a motor, and my parents actually did a really good job of squelching it. Once I got away from them (and I say this with sadness because I love my Dad so much), but once I got away from them, I started to really do well again.

I can't NOT work super hard and be super driven. (Unless the drive is squelched out of me by removing choices from my life, keeping me sheltered, not letting me go out in the world, etc.)

My brother is the opposite. His family currently lives in public housing. 'Nuff said.


cycworker
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Posted: 1/30/2013 1:43:06 AM
I completely agree with Nightowl. The example of her 2nd kid totally resonates with me as I am totally like that. If I want to do it, I will. If I don't, I won't.

cycworker
On dry runs Santa drives the Isuzu

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Posted: 1/30/2013 1:43:44 AM
I completely agree with Nightowl. The example of her 2nd kid totally resonates with me as I am totally like that. If I want to do it, I will. If I don't, I won't.

cycworker
On dry runs Santa drives the Isuzu

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Posted: 1/30/2013 1:47:28 AM
I completely agree with Nightowl. The example of her 2nd kid totally resonates with me as I am totally like that. If I want to do it, I will. If I don't, I won't.

writermom1
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:26:05 AM
I think motivation matters and different people have different motivators.

DS will work 10x as hard of his own volition on something he feels is important to the home, family, himself. Livestock care, firewood, the kid is a machine.

Spend five minutes cleaning his room? Forget about it

I can see that applied to people's job situations. If you are passionate and feel purpose you work harder than when you are just phoning it in.

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Maryland
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:34:05 AM
I do think that giving kids everything they want contributes.

But I only know how to answer based on how we raise our kids. I am rambling but this is the only way I can answer. Just based on what we think will make an ambitious person. This is what we do and it works! They pretty much have always gotten straight A's every year of school while playing soccer, taking dance, gymnastics and track. They know how to balance their time. WE emphasize that education is important. We also support their teachers.

We teach our girls respect for everyone! We don't teach them that just because they are girls everyone must respect them. They know that they respect others, boys, girls, men and women. They have held the door open for men, women, children since they were small. They don't talk back to us, etc.

Now ambition to not be messy, slobs/pigs, I haven't a clue!!


PhotoHorse
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:58:16 AM
Has anyone discussed the reactive vs. proactive personality?

The reactive ones blame others, feel like they aren't responsible for anything that happens to them, etc. They do a poor job of planning ahead or preparing because they believe they aren't in control of their fate. The proactive people plan ahead, make things happen, are in charge of their destiny, feel like their efforts pay off, etc.

Pair that with their mindset. Carol Dweck wrote a book aptly named "Mindset". She says that you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. The fixed mindset people think like the reactive people. Their destiny is predetermined. They 'can't' do something because of their genes, their parents, their boss, their siblings, etc. They don't accept criticism, and they don't look for opportunities to grow because they don't feel like their efforts will be worth it.

The growth mindset people think that they are in charge of their destiny. They see opportunities to grow in every struggle, they are proactive in their choices and position themselves for success.

Dweck says that we should praise kids for their effort, not their innate abilities. They need to see how their work can pay off. Some of those super smart under achievers think that because they're super smart, they shouldn't have to work at something. That work undermines their natural smartness.

She sites lots of examples of CEOs who lead by force and are unable to take outside suggestions. She talks of gifted athletes who don't achieve because each setback is a reason why they shouldn't work at something. ETC.....it is a great book.


I also enjoy learning about and observing personalities (gold vs. green, ITJF, etc). Our kids have kind of taught us to parent them according to their own goals. Sometimes those are not our goals. Ultimately we want them to be Employed. Educated. and Elsewhere. One wants to fit in. One wants to stand out and be noticed. It is interesting how that changes their courses of action.


benem
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:47:15 PM

Has anyone discussed the reactive vs. proactive personality?

The reactive ones blame others, feel like they aren't responsible for anything that happens to them, etc. They do a poor job of planning ahead or preparing because they believe they aren't in control of their fate. The proactive people plan ahead, make things happen, are in charge of their destiny, feel like their efforts pay off, etc.



That is fascinating!

Then I wonder.. well this kid I am talking about. His dad has really squelched any impetus he has ever had to be proactive. Of course he did it to the girl too, but she's still moving forward with her life.

So I guess that is what I was wondering.

Then again, I had a parent who squelched me and it just pissed me off and made me more determined.
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