Following Instructions is a Dead End Strategy

I will put something bold out there for those that may be used to finding value in doing the work. The work has to get done, but if your only value is to follow instructions, then you have a dead end strategy.

We can easily shop the work nowadays. The world is connected and finding someone that will execute on the strategy is a commodity and is becoming increasingly more efficient. Thus, white collar labor is going the same as blue collar labor did in the information age. There is endless supply and finding the temp worker who will follow instructions can be tried out and then ceased at any time.

What is not a commodity is the ability to create ideas and build strategies. It’s not what we were taught in school, industrial age businesses or even at home. Being a good girl or boy was rewarded in the old days. And there are still industrial age pockets you may hide or find refuge to exercise your skill as a rule doer and follower.

But the problem is that your half-life is getting ever shorter. The connected economy is squeezing out efficiency model businesses at a rapid rate. So what is complex or requires human machine-like behavior eventually will be automated or price shopped via competition and lower costs with higher quality.

Now you might buy further time by finding industries thriving off of inefficiency. But competition and connection will eventually threaten whatever domain you work in.

So you can either be a really efficient rule follower or you can learn to be a rule maker. The rule makers have to have more vision and see something that doesn’t exist. It takes more risk but do you have a choice if automation and commoditization is going to squeeze out every mundane rule following operation?

How can you increase your value by making the rules instead of merely following them?

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