A meme came over my dashboard today proclaiming that “The world needs more individuals who are willing to work their hardest.” I’m not actually certain that is true.

In my 36 years experience as an engineer I met dozens of people who were willing to work their hardest; who were committed and passionate about the work that they were doing. And I saw them sidelined, ignored, and “disciplined” for that commitment while technically-incompetent panderers were promoted into charge of critical projects. And I know dozens of committed, passionate people who are living with the disabling effects of trauma from working where “don’t rock the boat” and “make me look good” were the unspoken but unassailable management principles.

The world needs more individuals who are able to VALUE hard work – and more importantly, who are able to value the excellence that hard work can achieve – over fawning toadyism. Good managers are as rare as hen’s teeth – which makes them worth the ridiculous salaries that managers get. UNfortunately, the incompetent panderers are usually the ones who oil their way into those ridiculous salaries, and they are properly worth nothing.

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