I once drove home from college at 100 miles an hour. It saved two hours. My old car barely made it, and I was hardly able to speak once I peeled myself out of the car.
That was maximum speed, but it wasn't optimum.
Systems have an optimum level of performance. It's the output that permits the elements (including the humans) to do their best work, to persist at it, to avoid disasters, bad decisions and burnout.
One definition of maximization is: A short-term output level of high stress, where parts degrade but short-term performance is high.
Capitalism sometimes seeks competitive maximization instead. Who cares if you burn out, I'll just replace the part…
That's not a good way to treat people we care about, or systems that we rely on.
As a valuable contributor seeking to build a career, you benefit when you develop a unique asset, because that asset gives you the leverage to choose a niche in a system that respects optimization instead.
PS today's the last best day to sign up for the year's last session of The Marketing Seminar. We start the lessons today, Tuesday. If you've been considering it and wondering if it's for you or not, I'm hoping you'll take two minutes to read a few of the more than fifty reviews that people have contributed…