Sunday, September 3rd, 2017
BRAIN AND BRAWN ARE BOTH SMART
On this Labor Day, I want to remind leaders that people who work with thinking and people who work with action are equally smart or not. One just has more inclination to thought and one more inclination to action. Both need support for learning and enhancing their skill.
I have three very smart, exceptional and very uniquely talented sons who have to have action and building in their work. One is a project manager helping things to get built. One is a high school teacher teaching high school students to use their hands to create and one is a marketer bringing other people’s ideas into concrete point of sale displays. They don’t fit the stereo type of ‘labor’ and yet they do no and could not sit at a desk and think only.
Those who labor are transformers. For you, the CEO they are the energy and physical talent that brings ideas into the world for your company. I speak as a retired food retail executive so this is quite visible in my industry.
It is the sweat, labor, diligence and strength of bodies that builds your stores, grows the product, that loads the product onto trucks, that sorts them in the warehouse, that lifts product to the shelves, that packs the bags of groceries for your customer. (And I’ve only named a few of the steps) So much service is given through physical labor.
What am I saying? Respect this physical work. Don’t assume that action workers want other work. They want good pay and respect. Many like and are extremely talented in what they do. As I write this, I have robots circling my head. They lurk. The question will be how to transition action workers/laborers to work that uses their innate preference for concrete, tangible, work. Begin to think about that. And, maybe this week would be a good time to let those who labor for your company, know that you see their contribution and its importance. Do it in a way that feels natural to you, but do it.