The Greatest Showman: Drive (Part 2 of 3)
First, let’s look at drive as it relates to life and work. Drive, the self-generated energy to move forward and achieve, or get things accomplished, is laudable. How drive is manifested, and its impact on others, should be important factors.
In my work as a consultant and coach, I see many driven people. Many of these people have attained levels of success only dreamed of by others. I think the definition of success becomes important at this point. What are the key components that create success for an individual. Is it wealth, status? Is it visibility (fame)? Is it having all the toys? None of these things are bad in themselves, but as motivators, they are unreliable and transient. Someone who primarily uses these external types of motivators may struggle to be an effective leader.
In the movie, Barnum’s drive brought him success, but as that success grew, his connection to others diminished. Those who were close to him, who had significant connection issues of their own, felt a deep sense of abandonment and loss. The one who had brought them together (Barnum) and gave them meaningful work to do, had abandoned his leadership role to chase after personal success. He forgot the team that “got him there”. Drive is neither good nor bad. It’s the application of that drive which determine outcomes. This begs the question, “Is my drive applied appropriately? Is it sustainable, and will it yield the best overall outcome?”