Originally Posted by Pantah
Interesting view. IMO, people who pursue highly paid careers are there to get paid. It's the most important part of their game. Getting paid is the only form of recognition that counts. Everything else is just 'noise'.
People who's priority is to feel good about themselves choose much less competitive careers. Careers where they are not measured by their market value.
Valentino Rossi took a massive pay cut - and I do mean really massive - to return to Yamaha. He went back to Yamaha because he believed it was his best chance of winning (and Assen proved him right). I think that just about conclusively disproves the theory that money is the sole motivator.
People are motivated by a lot of things, but most of all, prestige. The reason that salaries among US CEOs have spiraled out of control has nothing to do with the absolute amount they earn, and more to do with their relative amounts. Their massive egos (just like professional sports stars) mean that they want to be paid more than the other guy. How much that is (above a certain minimum, of course) is irrelevant, it's about having MORE than the other guy. It's about winning.
Same with professional athletes. They go to teams either to establish their reputation in some way - the savior of a franchise, the only rider to win on X number of brands - or to try to win races and a championship. Money is one part of that recognition - Rossi left Yamaha because they wanted him to take a pay cut, while paying Lorenzo more - but the absolute quantities are not the main motivator.