Monday Musings 201 - Four circles and one point
Way back in rural Jharkhand in a small hamlet of sorts, so typically of the mofussil India, where I grew up, academics swayed between escape and a threat - escape in the sense that it offered a glimmer of hope that would lead us away and out of the oppression of backwardness; and a threat in the sense that children would be harshly reminded of what misery awaits them should they not spend hours and hours with books. I know for sure that this archetype was a fairly common - and children of this archetype are in organizations today.
I am reminded of this archetype as I went through an amazing diagrammatic representation of what brings joy to the cublicle-wallah as he searches the elusive corporate salvation - a state of bliss and happiness that the sages and oracles promised us many eons back - just that they never worked in organizations.
The diagram has four circles which cut through each other - and at only one point all four circles cut through each other - and that is the sweet spot. It talks about evaluating work on four key points -
1. That which you love 2. That which you are good at 3. That which you can be paid for
4. That which the world needs
Let’s look at some combinations. This diagram does not belong to me. However the question at the end of it does. You must ask yours.
a. Work which you love, are good at and the world needs - is your passion and can be converted into a mission - but it won’t be making money for you because you cannot be paid for it....the market has no time for your fantasies.
b. Work which you love, are good at and that you can be paid for - is your passion and can be converted into your profession - there is no larger purpose in your work...you are just a cog in the wheel...you will die, to borrow a phrase, without having made a dent in the universe because you never moved beyond the letter 'I'.
c. Work which you are good at, can be paid for and the world needs - is your profession and can be converted into a vocation - where is the Joie de vivre, where is the mojo, where is that spring in the steps and the song on the lips when you get ready to make millions out of something that you do not love...this is cruelty and worse, self inflicted.
d. Work which you love, can be paid for and the world needs - is your vocation and can be converted into a mission.- You are mediocre but are lucky to be riding high demand which hides the inevitable discovery of your mediocrity. When the tide will ebb, you will be discovered. But enjoy till the party lasts.
Coming back to the archetypes, the focus clearly was and perhaps is, what can you be paid for and to some extend what does the world needs, but never, never the other two.
What do you think happens to these archetypes in organizations after 10-15 years?
Look around and you may know.