Consider two loading docks at small companies.
At the first, a tractor-trailer filled with heavy boxes shows up. The sole worker on the dock is tasked with unloading the trailer, asap.
He puts on his gloves and begins hauling the boxes, one at a time. He’s manhandling them off the truck and straining to stack them to the side. Eight hours later, he has a strained back, blisters and an empty truck. A day’s work, hard earned.
At the second dock, the sole worker looks at the truck and then heads next door, to the larger company and their foreman, a woman he met on the bus to work last week. “Can I borrow your hand truck and ramp for an hour?” It took guts to ask, he might have been rejected, but his calm manner and ability to connect worked.
An hour later, the truck is empty.
Who worked harder today?
For most of us, hard work is measured in insight, emotional effort, and connection. It’s been a long time since the economy fairly rewarded people based on brawn alone.
And now, consider the third company, where the person at the dock planned ahead and had everything ready as soon as the truck was scheduled to arrive…
Or consider the keyboard workers, one of whom does a repetitive task all day long, and the other who did the labor to find a plug-in or macro that would do it in a few minutes…