Anyone as deep into softball (or baseball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball) as my family is knows that kid sporting competitions rarely involve a scoreboard. The point is to let the kids learn the game and not get hung up on the score. This is a good system, but once a kid becomes accomplished in a sport, he or she knows almost intuitively that the deeper point of sports is, yes, to win.
Career planning is no different. Starting out, someone might be willing to work hard for little reward, accepting the fact that he’s learning a skill. But once he becomes skilled in a profession, he needs something more to keep the enthusiasm going. Kids figure out pretty quickly how to track their runs and three-pointers. I’m a big fan of putting the same ideas to work in the workplace. If you have a manager who never gives you feedback (or raises), you are going to have to devise ways to measure your own progress.