The competitive advantage the marketplace demands is someone more human, connected, and mature. Someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities as she makes useful decisions without angst. Flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion.
If you’re a linchpin, doing a job that’s not getting done is essential. Be less obedient, more personal with customers and coworkers,
Multiply “when in doubt, give a refund” by millions of jobs at millions of organizations and you see what you end up with: systems everywhere, manuals, rules, and a few people at the top working hard to dream up new ones.
Don’t buy into the self-limiting rule of behavior, think yourself out of that box.
What should be taught in schools? 1. Solve interesting problems 2. Lead
Most of us do menial boring tasks all day, except for 5 minutes where we create our most value using insight
Emotional labor is available to all of us but is rarely exploited as a competitive advantage. We spend our time and energy trying to perfect our craft, but we don’t focus on the skills and interactions that will allow us to stand out and become indispensable to our organization.
Instead of having a resume that rules you out of the job consideration have something remarkable, like a great reputation, a gleaming project, or great letters of recommendation = Emotional Labor.
“The future of your organization depends on motivated human beings selflessly contributing unasked-for gifts of emotional labor.”
Real artists ship. Ship on time.
Bre Pettis wrote this manifesto on his blog:
- There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
- Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
- There is no editing stage.
- Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
- Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
- The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
- Once you’re done you can throw it away.
- Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
- People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
- Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
- Destruction is a variant of done.
- If you have an idea and publish it on the Internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
- Done is the engine of more.
In a world with only a few indispensable people, the linchpin has two elegant choices:
1. Hire plenty of factory workers. Scale like crazy. Take advantage of the fact that most people want a map, most people are willing to work cheaply, most people want to be the factory. You win because you extract the value of their labor, the labor they’re surrendering too cheaply.
2. Find a boss who can’t live without a linchpin. Find a boss who adequately values your scarcity and your contribution, who will reward you with freedom and respect. Do the work. Make a difference.
If you are not currently doing either of these, refuse to settle. You deserve better.
- Providing a unique interface between members of the organization
- Delivering unique creativity
- Managing a situation or organization of great complexity
- Leading customers
- Inspiring staff
- Providing deep domain knowledge
- Possessing a unique talent