I got huge kicks from swimming a couple of days ago. Walking out in -22 degree weather with only trunks on. Then dip into the water. The air doesn’t feel that cold afterwards. But all of the hair will literally freeze. When you do that a couple of times the feeling is magnificent. There’s some clarity in life again.
But it’s not that different from other things. Besides the health benefits. In this kind of activity it’s all about the endorphins and adrenaline. After a while you need more and more. Same with skydiving or cliff climbing. At first only jumping out of the plane is insane. But then you come across a need to push yourself to the limits again. Same thing in cliff climbing. First it’s top roping. Then you lead. Then maybe bouldering and high-ball bouldering or even soloing. There is no end.
Take this concept to the working environment. People that need kicks get bored easily. You need to challenge yourself on a regular basis. But the challenges need to be set up so that you can actually overcome them. Constant failure doesn’t do you any favors.
You spend a lot of time at work. It might as well give you the kicks. Jump and go forward. If you don’t you’ll wake up in ten years from now and think why didn’t you. Challenge yourself as it’s the only way of enjoying work. It’s also the only way to keep learning and moving forward. To be happy you can’t just keep up. You must get ahead. No one else will do that for you.Tweet
In a lot of projects that I’ve participated in I’ve worked with a lot of no-good-assholes. They think they’re big shots and know everything but when it’s time to really do something they just get out of the way. Not in a good way. A lot of times I like people to stay out of the way - most people anyway. Because most people suck at what they do.
They suck at what they do mostly because they hate their job or their boss. For the few, it’s actually possible to like what they’re doing. Unfortunately the world is not fair and for the majority of our species it’s just not possible.
If you hate your job, quit. By sticking around you are making everybody feel bad. They can’t do their job properly even if they like it because you ruin the mood and the flow. Quit and let people do their jobs well. Let them be great at what they do.
A-players attract other a-players. You probably learned this already in elementary school. Smart students paired up with other smart kids in group projects. Sure there was an occasional free rider but when in an a-player group they performed better as well. But if they didn’t they would be kicked out.
It works the other way around as well. When an a-player is put together with a b-group his performance will eventually suffer. Or he will get bored and just bolt. He will find something better to do in no time. A-players seek others alike and they seek grade A projects.
This is an important concept for an employer to understand. If you rely heavily on human resource and knowledge you need to plan your teams better. If you don’t reward your a-players they will leave. But you don’t need to do this (only) with oversized cheques or free trips to Bali. A-players want interesting projects and they want to work in interesting projects with other a-players.
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