Valentine’s Weekender: Gordon Gekko and the Love of Money

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Welcome to the Valentine’s Day edition of leadersayswhat’s the Weekender, an arrow of thought to start your weekend on the right track. Why just an arrow? Because it’s the weekend!

Another Valentine’s Day is upon us; a time to ponder the idea of love. You may be thinking about romantic love, but I don’t write for casanovasayswhat. Let’s discuss a common love in the workplace, the love of money.

There are many negative connotations associated with the love of money. We often think of the ethically- challenged Gordon “Greed is Good” Gekko from the movie Wall Street who put monetary wins above all else. But research shows that loving money is not as detrimental as Gekko made it out to be.

What’s worth doing is worth doing for money. – Gordon Gekko

According to research from the Journal of Business Ethics, a high love of money:

  • does NOT impact job satisfaction;
  • is positively associated with coping strategies for “bad apples”; and, most surprisingly,
  • is related to low corrupt intent.

These results do not mean you should take out a large deposit and cuddle up with your cash on Valentine’s Day. It just shows that loving money will not hurt or help your organization in the ways stigma has dictated.

Instead of focusing on the money, spend more of your time on the above research findings in which work environment and job satisfaction were most strongest link. Gordon Gekko may say that “greed clarifies and cuts through to the essence of the evolutionary spirit,” but a positive workplace culture can do so more effectively and with less expense.

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