John is a good worker.
He works hard; that is, he works long hours.
John completes his work; that is, he completes the work the boss sets for him.
He is reliable; that is, he shows up on time every day.
John is consistent; that is, he follows the processes like everyone else.
John is me; well he was me when I worked in big business.
In another lifetime, I was John, I was a good worker.
Being a good worker however, does not make you stand out from anyone else, because everyone else is like John.
If working long hours for no reason, doing exactly as the boss says, showing up on time and following the processes makes you good, then almost everyone is good. This is a problem though, because those things are not only expected, but they are easily repeatable.
If something is easily repeatable, then it’s easily replaceable.
So if you’re an employee, it would make sense that if you wanted to keep your job long term, obviously because you love it, then you would be more than good.
How do you be more than good?
You bring yourself to the work. You bring the person, the one that is relaxed and fun and caring away from work, to your job. You give more to your bosses and customers than just the usual, you give them your emotional intelligence. You give them your passion and desire to excel, something that everyone inherently has.
If you’re an employer or boss, what does this mean for you? Isn’t having replaceable people a good thing?
Well it is, if you want to be good, like every other business in your market. A business full of good people, will probably be only good, and it will compete against other businesses full of good people, so they’re only good as well.
Instead of betting that your systems and processes and product are going to be better than the competition, which they’re probably not, well not to the level you think, wouldn’t it be best to inspire the people who work for you to bring themselves to the work? Wouldn’t having a group of employees who want to work hard and are driven to be the best outdo a good business every time?
Maybe, instead of just training people on the systems, or how to be better accountants/engineers/administrators etc, maybe you could help your employees become better people.