Do You Live to Work, Or Do You Work to Live?

A simple fact is that we must work to take care of our basic needs; shelter, food, car, health insurance, etc., unless of course you were born into money and do not have to worry about the basics. There are those of us who love what we do and greet each day with excitement. This group “Lives to Work”. Then there are those who dread getting up every meeting. Mondays are the worst! These folks “Work to Live”.

Living to work is “being” your life’s purpose. The key to enjoying the work part of your life is to have passion and drive for the work you do. Being engaged with your work is critical in enjoying your type of work. And to be engaged means that you understand what motivates you to do what you do.

For those of you who “work to live”, there are several reasons why you might not be engaged with your work. Many of you in this situation start out with the drive and passion; however, things begin to happen, and you are so caught up in things that you lose touch with yourself, allowing situations and others to make decisions for you.

Or, perhaps you selected a career because you were “expected” to do so. Or, maybe the organization you work for may not be utilizing your strengths, those things that you are truly passionate about. Or you may have started out utilizing your strengths, then you were given more responsibilities and the passion began to wear off because the tasks at hand were no longer satisfying.

Oftentimes we must do things for a short period of time that doesn’t motivate us at all. It’s then we must modify to get the job done. But what we can’t do is let that become the norm taking away our passion.

For example, our company was working on a project for CNN. We proposed to design and manufacture the wardrobe for its tour guides in New York and Atlanta. I received a call one morning and CNN needed to have the budget in by 5 PM that day. Unfortunately for me, my business partner that runs the operations of the company, was traveling out of the country and could not be reached.

So, I bunkered down and did the best I could. I kept telling myself that this was temporary, and I would get back to what I did best the next day! But what if that had turned into the same type of job every day. I would not be utilizing my skills and talents and I would have become very demotivated, leading me to be very disengaged. Are you feeling demotivated and disengaged? Hopefully this blog can be a catalyst to help change that!

Regardless the reason(s), if you have the desire to “shift” things, then do so. Only you can do that. It’s as simple as being conscious to make choices that move things in a different direction. When you are in your “sweet spot” at work, you are living to work!

I mentioned in the blog, “Does Your Behavior Impact Your Personal Brand? You Bet it Does!”, that your behavior drives almost every decision you make. In the blog, “What is Personal Branding? And Why Should You Care?”, I stated that your reputation defines your Personal Brand. You gain this reputation by everything you do, everything you say, everything you represent, everything you associate yourself with, and everything you produce.”

Not having that passion and drive for your work, will certainly impact your brand in a very negative way. You may become less involved in meetings or demonstrate a lack of urgency when deadlines are due. Can you see how this might affect what others say about you?

When you integrate your behavior with your passion, decisions are made, and actions are taken. And we are all doing this either consciously or unconsciously every day, and it is these actions that will impact your personal brand in a good way or bad way.

In the blog , The Personal Branding Wheel™:  how to get started building your personal brand, I introduce the CFX Personal Branding Wheel™. I talked about how this wheel was created to help you learn how to develop and maintain your personal brand throughout your career. Be sure to read the blog if you are looking to get started or organizing your personal branding efforts.

At the center of this wheel is the foundation for which your brand is built upon and we call this your CORE. It’s about who you are. It is about your behaviors and those driving forces  that make up the CORE of the wheel. In this blog I want to discuss these “driving forces” as part of your CORE.

In the blog , “Does Your Behavior Impact Your Personal Brand? You Bet it Does!”, I also talked about an iceberg and how the tip of the iceberg represented your behavior, it is what others can see, it’s about how you do what you do. But what does the “base” of the iceberg represent?


The base of the iceberg is typically bigger than the tip and is not easily seen.  What motivates you is not as easily identifiable as your behavior. The base of the iceberg represents those motivators that drive you to do what you do. These are called your 12 Driving Forces® . These are important to identify and know because if you are not passionate about what you are doing, you are not productive.

Organizations with higher than average levels of employee engagement realize 27% higher profits, 50% higher sales, 50% higher customer loyalty levels and 38% above average productivity.

Gallup, State of the American Workforce Report, 2013

So, let’s first review the history of these 12 Driving Forces® so you can gain a better understanding of the impact they have on your daily interactions at work.

The first to introduce and define human motivation and drive was Eduard Spranger, a German psychologist, teacher and philosopher in 1928. His book, “Types of Men,” identified six primary categories of motivation, and believed these motivators were hierarchical. These six types are:  Theoretical, Utilitarian, Aesthetic, Social, Individualist and Traditional.

Target Training International Success Insights (TTI®) expanded on Spranger’s work. The organization felt Spranger’s initial research told “half the story”. TTI’s “neurological and database research revealed avoidance, compared to acceptance, is often a more powerful force. As a result, six became 12 by analyzing and naming both ends of Spranger’s six categories.” These are what TTI® calls your 12 Driving Forces®.

These 12 Driving Forces® are established by looking at each motivator on a continuum and describing both ends of the continuum.  All 12 descriptors are based on six keywords, one for each continuum.  The six keywords are:  Knowledge, Utility, Surroundings, Others, Power and Methodologies.

The 12 Driving Forces® evolved from the six motivators. They are outlined in the 12 Driving Forces® graph below. Each gives you more definitive information about what moves you to action. Identifying which of these 12 Driving Forces® you possess, will empower you to build on your strengths. You will learn how to provide the most accurate understating of who you are and what makes you unique.

TTI Success Insights® says that “Each driving force represents a lens through which we view the world, what we consider to be fulfilling and rewarding, and what sparks our initiative.” TTI® also states that, “Each of us has primary drivers, which are our most potent protagonists. They are the forces compelling the story of our lives forward. The remaining eight forces are at play situationally or not at all.

And like behaviors, recognizing what motivates others and how they differ from you, helps you communicate more effectively.

For example, you might be a “Social” person who likes to help others; however, are you one that is more “Altruistic, where you like to help others for the sake of helping others, expecting nothing in return? Or, you might be a “Social” person who likes to help others, but you do expect something in return, which is called “Intentional. This does not mean tit-for-tat. An example might be that if you offer to help someone on a project you would expect someone to do their part as well.

What is important to remember here is that knowing and identifying your




has loads of benefits when building your brand!

This can help you with such things as:  writing a solid resume, developing a Personal Branding Statement, building a strong LinkedIn Profile, communicating more effectively, both verbal and written, enhancing your presentation skills, being effective with your business etiquette and protocol skills, enhancing your business dining and entertainment decorum, participating better in business meetings and networking events, just to mention a few.

I hope you can see how this knowledge can help build your brand. Being aware of who you are and how you do things enables you to make more conscious choices in all aspects of your professional life. Even your personal life as well. This approach to developing and maintaining your personal brand is built on a strong foundation. A foundation that is sustainable for years to come. Enjoy the process!

To read more blogs on the topics of Personal Branding and Driving Forces, click here. Keep in mind that we are constantly adding new blogs so be sure to check back!

You can also submit any question concerning this topic or other personal branding topics by submitting your questions here. Our “ASK! the image guru” will try to answer your question(s) in a blog!