The People Problem

You think your job is widgets.  It isn’t.

Your job is people.  Somewhere along the way, maybe when we stopped growing our own potatoes (and even then, there was family to manage), the output stopped being 100% of the point.  Not that output doesn’t matter.  Not that you don’t touch widgets.  But I’m willing to bet that for 99% of people, their daily work isn’t taken up in units moved from the inbox to the outbox.

Nope.  The bulk of your day is spent in people, nurturing relationships, building influence, listening, talking, arguing, managing feelings, going around so-and-so…  Because work is a social enterprise.  It is the primary social enterprise, given the death of small communities and the waning influence of churches.  It’s where we talk to people, it’s where we express ourselves.  It is the venue that excuses our runway walk through the world with this pair of shoes instead of that, this haircut, this beard, this dress, all of which say to people “this is who I am.”

Let’s face it, you don’t worry about all of that when you work from home, you don’t have to tell the dog who you are.  He can figure that out by sticking his nose in your butt.

Economies are changing.  Everything is changing.  From an input/output perspective measured in widgets, our system for working is super inefficient – because of the people.  People are the problem.  At least from one perspective.

From another perspective, we need our work.  Even the jobs we hate, and not just for the paycheck. We need our work because we are social animals.  We need the connection and it is harder and harder to find elsewhere.

To our detriment.

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The People Problem

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