Understanding value

If you understand value, you understand life itself. Partnerships are fundamentally about understanding what the other person wants and delivering on that. Here are some common things people want and will work for:

  1. Fame and recognition: interviews, TV appearances, articles mentioning their name… people like to make time to be noticed.
  2. Promotion: a better job, better pay, better desk location. Are what you doing lining them up for something bigger and better?
  3. Money: linked to security, power and image, people will work for this even if it doesn't make them feel better.
  4. Sex: need I say more.
  5. Security: "just promise me everything is going to be ok." Some folks don't want their boats rocked.
  6. Newness and opportunity: the first, the biggest, the best, beta-test, whatever. People love knowing there's an opportunity and they're grabbing it.
  7. Risk: an affair, gambling or driving fast, sometimes things that seem reckless also seem right and are prime motivators for people. This may also go back to vanity. They want to look and appear a certain way.
  8. Competitive advantage: This has the fear of loss in it too. If they don't act, they lose out and their competition wins. They'll do something to get ahead.
  9. Spite or hate: if Johnny did it, then I need to do it 100 times better. Doesn't matter what it is, but I want it.
  10. Vanity: how will I look in front of the world if I do this? That matters to people, a lot.
  11. Fear of loss and/or gain: loss of youth, watching their children grow up, it doesn't matter. People fear loss and the implications gain has.
  12. Doing the right thing (and being noticed): some people will do the right thing, but a lot of the time it's backed by one of the above too. They're getting recognition. feeling like they're part of something or feel like they're the first. Normally this needs to be paired with one of the above value propositions too.
  13. Community: the feeling that you're part of something bigger than yourself
  14. Appearance: will I look smarter, faster, sexier or cooler if I do this?

This isn't everything but it's certainly a good start. Consider these before you fuss over working with others.