Originally Posted by Kropotkin
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.
Valentino Rossi still got paid. According to Forbes, he still made over $20 million and is the highest paid rider in the sport. Regarding star pro athletes, money is still the primary measure of their status. When they can't get the contracts of the size they feel they are worth, they usually retire. Sure there are a few anomalies like Jaromir Jagr, but not many. If Peyton Manning couldn't get the headline deal last time around, I guarantee he wouldn't continue in the sport just to be a starting quarterback. Tom Brady is a little different in that he traditionally gets a big contract, then restructures it so the team can acquire or retain certain talents that he needs to perform well. But he's still one of the highest paid athletes in football.
I think winning a championship is probably most important for aging stars, so I agree with you on that front. They will accept less money in exchange for a better chance to finally win their first, or maybe one more ring. Perhaps Rossi fills that profile, but he still got paid richly.
No question in the executive suite. Bonus time is when everybody compares notes. If you are one of those looking for the gold ring and your bonus comes in under your rivals, you move on to a new suite somewhere else. At the end of your career, you get pushed out by the young lions coming up to claim their share. When that happens, you either retire or take on a hobby role to stay in the game. Some sort of emeritus position or maybe a top job in the minor leagues.
My point is that none of these people are social workers. Their compensation defines them.