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Life is a lot more fun when you can insulate yourself from people saying dumb things. I know, I know… we all hear dumb statements all the time. They’re born of ignorance, stupidity, laziness or some blend of the three. There are SO many choices among the dumb things people say that it’s really, really hard to rank them all and identify the one that’s truly dumbest. Here’s one of my nominees, and it makes me nuts:
“They expect me to do more with less.”
I’ve heard this massively irritating gripe – almost always in a whining tone of voice – hundreds and hundreds of times during my business career and in my personal life. I’ve heard it from countless sales professionals griping about their increased quotas. I’ve heard it from teachers. I’ve heard it from it from government employees of all stripes. I’ve heard it from medical and all sorts of other professionals.
I heard it again just yesterday morning when I went to pick up some shirts from my dry cleaner. The guy’s full statement – accompanied by the typical “I’m so persecuted,” whiny attitude – was, “Sorry they’re not ready yet. We’ve been really busy. Frankly, I’ll never be able to catch up. My co-worker quit when we got the new cleaning machines and now I’m here by myself most of the time. My bosses are utterly unreasonable. They expect me to do more with less.”
As I said, anyone who ever says – or even ever thinks – this phrase is demonstrating stupidity, ignorance, laziness, or one of the permutations thereof. In any case…
Anyone, including you, who cannot do more with less month after month after month, year after year after year, should be ashamed of themselves and summarily fired!
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Thinking maybe that’s too harsh a judgement???
Consider this: Since the dawn of humanity, humans have actually been doing more with less. It’s what we humans do. (Except of course for the stupid/ignorant/lazy among us.) It’s called progress. It’s all about making life just a little bit better, for ourselves, for our loved ones, for our communities, ultimately for all of us. Let’s look at a few examples.
In 1776, it took roughly 97% of the American population to produce enough food to feed everybody. Today, it takes less than 1% of the American population to feed not only the U.S., but a goodly chunk of the rest of the world. Not only that, nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight. The UN estimates that about 700 million people globally are malnourished, and that 1 billion are overweight. Seriously! There are now more overweight people than underweight people – world-wide!
Farmers have consistently been doing much, much more with much, much less for hundreds of years.
In 1947, 30% of Americans were employed in manufacturing jobs producing an inflation adjusted $2 trillion worth of stuff. Today, about 10% of Americans make over $6 trillion worth of stuff. That would be 3 times as much accomplished with 1/3 the staff.
And think of how much better the quality of the stuff they make has gotten. Not only do my shirts cost less, they don’t ever need to be ironed and can be washed 50 times and still look good! The IBM PC I bought in 1981 (the BIG one and at the employee price) had a 4.7 MHz processor and dual 160K floppy drives. It cost over $12,000 in today’s dollars. Today, I can buy a new iPhone for $1,100 with a 2.4 GHz processor and 256 GB of storage. That’s more than 500 times faster with 781,000 times as much storage for 9% of the cost. And it’s VASTLY more functional than my simple old PC that was pretty much limited to typewriter-like word processing and a primitive spreadsheet. (Who remembers VisiCalc?)
Manufacturers have consistently been doing much, much more with much, much less for hundreds of years.
When you had your first child – or 2nd or 3rd or whatever number for that matter – were you and your spouse really up to the task? Did have enough money, time and the host of other resources necessary to care for a child?
No, of course you didn’t. But you figured it out, didn’t you? Somehow you made it work. Even if it was twins or triplets!
New parents have consistently been doing much, much more with much, much less for thousands of years!
I could go on and on with the examples, but I think you get the point. If you’re not constantly and consistently figuring out how to do more with less – you are contributing exactly nothing – zero – zip – nada – to enhance your own well-being or that of anyone else.
If you don’t expect yourself to be able to do more with less year after year after year, you should be ashamed. Grumbling about the need to do more with less is equivalent to wearing a sign that says, “I’m a clueless, useless knucklehead!”
The next time you’re feeling a bit abused by your boss or by life, and you feel like blurting out that you absolutely cannot be expected to do more with less…
Now get out there and implement your own vicarious.
Do it now and post that IV Score!