We’ve made it really really easy to be lazy.
We are automating the hard work of being human. Thinking for ourselves. Feeling. Seeing. Being seen.
When we have a challenge we can choose from ‘best practice’, “celebrity” comparison, or advice from one form or another of consultant. The problem is that they are not you, with your situation, right here right now. Nor will they suffer the consequences of the actions you take based on their implied or actual recommendation.
For me right now, the ultimate expression of laziness is automated messages on LinkedIn. On our feed it comes up as one of our connections birthday, or promoton, or move – and right underneath are a selection of buttons to click with an automated response. “Wow Bob” “Congratulations” – or whatever. Pressing one of those buttons is a good as sending them a message saying “too busy to bother with you”. If this person is really a connection – somebody you want to be connected to, to see and be seen by, do it properly. You may have thousands of connections, like scalps on a belt but we can only ever have meaningful relationships with 150 people. Treat one of those 150 with an automated message, and just what are you saying? And just what are you getting from, and giving to those beyond that 150?
The same goes for the veritable Bazaar of recommendations and advice, from people we don’t know regarding problems we didn’t know we had, all posted in the hope of grabbing our attention.
Simplex and Duplex
If we have a lot of connections on Linked in the likelihood is most of them will be simplex – one way connections only. One party want to be seen by the other without having to see. What Adam Grant classifies as takers. Many more will be half duplex – “matchers” who will give on condition of receipt in some form. A few are full duplex – who will give and share without expectation of receipt – because they can, and it’s who they are.
Right now, in these strange times, the truth is you are enough as you are.
This of course is economically very inconvenient for those in the Bazaar, but the truth is you can work out an approach to almost all of the challenges you face (Barring of course things like Surgery) yourself – maybe with some advice from those who know you, or who will make the effort to get to know you.
We are in uncharted territory, and no matter what we like to think none of us know, even those with a sales budget to meet who would tell us otherwise.
Just because none of us know doesn’t mean we can’t work it out. There are others out there – the givers – generous, thoughtful people who create valuable pieces, with valuable insights that make you think and reflect, who don’t want your money, they just like to share.
There are Tribes of these folk (more often on Medium I find than LinkedIn) People with curiosity, people who like to learn from others as they teach what they know, in the knowledge that those they teach can apply what they learn. Together, they find new ways, not recycle old ones. Everyone benefits.
I think there is a fabric to our lives. The weft is made from ideas, and the warp from people. The quality of our fabric is determined by the resonance we feel with each.
This is no time to be lazy. Choose your connections and develop ideas with them.