Are you a creator or a perfecter?

Seth Godin gets it spot on (as he normally does) with this insight from his blog last year. The question for you is simple: are you a creator, or are you in the business of perfecting what has been created? It might sound as if both are equally important, interesting and exciting. But in a world of change and turmoil, they are not. Creators take risks and seek change. Perfectors seek stability and status quo.

In Seth’s words, creators are capitalists and perfecters are industrialists. It is creators who will win in this new world of work.

Which are you?

Industrialists are not capitalists.

Capitalists take risks. They see an opportunity, an unmet need, and then they bring resources to bear to solve the problem and make a profit.

Industrialists seek stability instead.


New world of workIndustrialists work to take working systems and polish them, insulate them from risk, maximize productivity and extract the maximum amount of profit. Much of society’s wealth is due to the relentless march of productivity created by single-minded industrialists, particularly those that turned nascent industries (as Henry Ford did with cars) into efficient engines of profit.

Industrialists don’t mind government regulations if they write them, don’t particularly like competition or creativity or change. They are maximizers of the existing status quo.

Of course, they can’t abide humanity when it comes to work, because humanity is inconsistent and interested in things other than the last zero. The best employee is a robot that can be plugged into a wall.

The stock market rewards the single-minded industrialist with short-term applause and then the relentless desire for ever more of the same growth and productivity that got them applause yesterday.

Today’s industrialists define our economy, but they offer very little promise for tomorrow. They’ve long bought ads to polish their image, but mostly work to alter the culture in ways that will ensure they’ll get just a little bit more yield out of each of us. 64 ounce Coke, anyone?

As long as industrialists are measuring productivity, engaging in scientific management and focused on ROI and predictability, there will always be a gap between the dreams of those they interact with and the demands of their shareholders.

There are lots of ways to justify the work of industrialists, to point to the efficiencies and productivity they create. That doesn’t mean that we must aspire to nothing more.

Source: Seth Godin’s blog

What do you aspire to?

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