Decision Making & Happiness

with Kevin Fishner

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The reward of completing a task should be the completion of that task

Kevin Fishner

Director of Marketing, Founder & CEO, Philosophy Enthusiast

Lessons Learned

We want everyone to be working on a team goal and helping others.

We’re personally driven to win for everybody.

How do I get as much information into one place, and then remix it into a new idea?

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Lesson: Decision Making & Happiness with Kevin Fishner

Step #4 Reward: The reward of completing a task should be the completion of that task

The way that we think about success and accomplishing goals is a very social experience. All of our goals and all of our bonuses are team based so we don't have individual bonuses. The reason for that is we want everybody to be working towards a team goal and helping others rather than focused purely on that individual goal that we set. What this does is when one person hits their goal, the entire team is celebrating.

It’s the same approach for failure. Instead of focused on, “You did not hit your goal,” it’s, “What can we improve to make sure that everybody is accomplishing what they need to so it can, again, roll up into a team victory?” By aligning everybody under objectives and key results, we have a way to have team victories and team improvements rather than singling out individuals.

But it’s an interesting point about individual achievement, it's something that we don't really do. I think it's for the better but I am sure there's people who think the opposite in that. People are personally driven to accomplish their goals but in our setting, we are personally driven to win for everybody and kind of rising tide lifts all boats approach.

When I am trying to improve at something, I will read as much as possible for weeks beforehand to get all the ideas in my brain in one place and decide from there what the best approach is. For chess, it was reading beginner and intermediate chess guides, and then of course, tons of Internet resources where you can read, “This is how I improved my chess score by 500 points.” By putting all the information in one place, I can decide what is the best approach and it’s, again, coming back to the theme of how do I can get as much information in one place and then remix it into a new idea, at which point I can set a goal and accomplish it.

I don't really set a reward mechanism once I accomplished something, rather the accomplishment itself is the reward. I don't plan a vacation afterwards or set anything reward-based after that but that's a good idea. I wonder if that would motivate myself more, but for the most part it is being able to say I came from almost no knowledge to being a proficient chess player. From almost no knowledge in design and building a product, that final product is the reward itself. There's no third party carrot.

I find that the reward after accomplishing a goal is being able to share it with others and get feedback on it. With chess, it's sharing with others, it's playing with others and being able to play with a friend who's much better than me. Originally and now, I can compete with them at the same level.

There's a guy who we play chess probably about once a week and in the beginning, he was much, much better than me but now we can have a more enjoyable experience because we are almost at the same level. He's still better than me. But for design, which I am still working on, the goal is to be able to share it with others and get feedback and present it to the world and kind of the social validation or the social community around it is a reward in itself. I think that's an organic way to do it is to allow others to reward you rather than rewarding yourself.

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