Craft… Or the Unexpected Virtue of Working at Your Work

Craft… Or the Unexpected Virtue of Working at Your Work

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of Craft. Of taking what we do and really working on it. Really incorporating skill into a pursuit, be it trivial in nature or not. And how, in this credentialist world, we can often give short shrift to training and deep work in areas which do not require a post-secondary or post-undergraduate degree.

First, Break All the RulesOne of the best books I’ve ever read is First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curtis Coffman. In it, they talk about how great managers minimize their employees’ weaknesses while working on and enhancing their strengths. There’s a section that details how managers of hotels, for instance, work on rewarding their best cleaning staff, the ones who pay special attention to the little details, such as folding a triangle into the ends of toilet paper or putting the little chocolates on the pillow just so, instead of flinging them anywhere on the bed.

It isn’t something we think about much, the idea that being part of the cleaning staff or working the receptions desk at a hotel can be a learned and nurtured skill, at least beyond basic courtesy. But high-end hotels and other well-run establishments pride themselves on hundreds of these details.

The issue comes down to which positions do we feel utilize what combinations of talent vs hard work. There’s no doubt that it can be difficult to be on the cleaning staff. It’s largely a thankless job and although it may be menial, it is no more worthy of thought and good planning and execution. It’s safe to say that while any one person may be capable of doing this work for a short period, doing it for years is not something that comes easy. Menial labor takes anything but a menial mindset. Read more about Craft… Or the Unexpected Virtue of Working at Your Work

Karma’s Not a Bitch, Your Dogmas Are…

Karma’s Not a Bitch, Your Dogmas Are…

Every once in a while, I like to put on Chris Rock’s comedy special Bigger & Blacker. If you haven’t seen it, do so. Rock talks about the breakdown of the family, the battle of the sexes, political scandals, gays, racism, healthcare, insurance, school violence, gun control, sex, etc. It’s a comedy special so you take it with a grain of salt but even though some of the references are old, the overall themes are still relevant.

The special was on Comedy Central last night and here’s a great quote from it:

It don’t make no sense to be a racist, sexist, or nothing, but…. it don’t. It doesn’t. It don’t make no sense ’cause whoever you hate will end up in your family.

That’s right, you don’t like gays, you’re gonna have a gay son.

You don’t like Puerto Ricans? Your daughter’s gonna come home with ”Livin’ la vida loca!”

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The more dogmatic the person, the bigger the fall. No where does it come more into focus than in family life. In addition to the examples cited, I’d add religion or ethnicity to the mix.

Read more about Karma’s Not a Bitch, Your Dogmas Are…

The Career Prospects of a (White) One-Legged Busboy

The Career Prospects of a (White) One-Legged Busboy

I was thinking about the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one ‘minority’ candidate during its hiring process. Many have decried the rule as a case of the dreaded (and idiotic) “reverse-racism” and the spirit of the rule has been violated many times by well-meaning organizationsRead more about The Career Prospects of a (White) One-Legged Busboy[…]