“The world needs ditch diggers, too.”
You’ve heard this saying, right? We say it in regards to explaining that we all can’t be high performers. We all can’t be the best. I’ve said a million times that I would take an army of “B” players, just folks who show up to work and actually do the job they are paid to do!
The reality is, it’s now rare to find anyone who just wants to be “average”. I grew up in a world where the majority were completely fine with just doing their job, going home and living their life, rinse and repeat. Now, everyone wants to be extraordinary.
The problem is, if everyone is extraordinary, we all just are the same. If we are all the same, aren’t we all just average at that point? We are. You just raised the bar. This notion of abundance is a falsy, a dream. If everyone becomes high performing, that becomes the new mean, and someone will step up and become a higher performer. Welcome to life, kids.
Does the world still need ditch diggers?
I’m not sure, to be honest. It feels like we can build a robot or a machine or software to do most average stuff. Do we really need Starbuck baristas anymore? No! Robots are already making better coffee without the attitude, and if you want “attitude” we can make a button to push and the bot will give you attitude!
The current employment crisis will only speed up this evolution of eliminating the average. Say goodbye to some disinterested kid at the front counter at every fast food place. Say goodbye to grocery checkout clerks. Bank tellers. Truck drivers. I could do this all day.
If you can do your job and be average and no one says anything to you, know it’s just a matter of time until some sort of technology replaces you. That’s why no one is giving you any grief, it’s not worth pushing you for more when they know you’re going to be replaced!
The world will always need people who are willing to work, show up ready to work, and find some personal satisfaction of a job well done. Somehow that has become a lost art.
Average is Over
Average is over primarily because most people lack the self-insigt to understand and comprehend they are average. We are developing a world of people who believe they are above average at the very least, when most are performing below average work. This is a “participation medal” type of issue. At some point in our lives, we all got a participation token of some sort. This is a blurred lens of not understanding the person next to you is actually way better than you, either through hard work or flat out better talent.
A recent study by Goodhire found that 83% of Americans feel they don’t need a boss. The reality is, about 1-5% of Americans can perform average to above average work without some sort of supervision following up and ensuring performance is being met. So what Goodhire found out is that around 80% of Americans are stupid! Or, as I said above, this confirms the lack of self-insight. Very few people have the self-motivation to get up every day and manage themselves to success, let alone to just being average.
If you are an actual high performer in your life or any job, this is the best news you will ever hear! You are basically surrounded by morons who think they’re great, but struggle to turn off Netflix when real work must be done. People who believe because they replied to an email at 9pm at night, they are extraordinary. People you will walk over on your career ascent because they are average and don’t even know it.
The masses are killing average, but don’t be fooled, average didn’t go anywhere it’s just hiding in a new wrapper of “above average” inside of dumb people.