Oct. 18, 2021

the most important work advice you'll ever hear.

the most important work advice you'll ever hear.

Colin Cowherd, a well-known radio host for FOX Sports, repeats this advice often on his show:

Chase good management, not good money.

He issues the advice to the professional athletes he covers, but he also used it in his own life when he faced a major decision in 2015.

At the time, he hosted a popular morning radio show at ESPN, the world leader in sports coverage. His show aired live right after Mike & Mike, which is widely considered the best program in sports radio history. 

For three hours every day, Cowherd spoke about whatever he wanted on one of the largest platforms he could possibly have. He worked with a production crew that supported his every wish, that turned all of his wacky ideas into reality.

And ESPN paid him a lot of money to do this.

He had it good.

So why did he leave?

Because he could have spent the rest of his career at ESPN collecting paychecks and enjoying even more fame.

But he reached a point where he no longer connected with the people he worked for. And the company’s decision-making frustrated him. And for a show that bore his name, the network refused to give him much say in the future direction of the show.

So shortly before his contract ended, he surveyed the field and talked to multiple outlets. 

He eventually landed at FOX Sports, where he’s since enjoyed massive success. 

He raves now about the freedom his bosses give him, the agency he has over his own career and the decision making power he possesses, all things the executives at ESPN didn’t necessarily grant him.

And that’s the key.

In your life, you’ll likely work for some poor leaders.

They’ll take credit for your good work. They’ll nitpick and criticize every little thing. They’ll hover over you. They’ll set you up to fail. Executives will make head-scratching decisions without consulting you. The front office will be out of touch with the people working in the trenches.

Professional happiness is impossible under those circumstances -- even if those people pay us a lot of money. 

So when you interview for your next job, ask about the company culture. Ask about the autonomy you might have. Talk to another employee who will get real with you about what it’s like to work there.

All of that matters more than the number of zeroes on your paycheck.

Money is important, but it’s not everything.

Feeling trusted to make the right decisions matters more. Having support for everything you do matters more. Reliable, goodhearted and competent people surrounding you matters more. Bosses who listen to you matter more.

If you have to take less money to get those things, then so be it.

It’s better to smile in your Toyota than cry in your Ferrari.