Posted: August 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

I had never heard of Liz Wiseman before the Global Leadership Summit.  Her talk centered around the concept of “multipliers” vs. “diminishers.”  Though she was one of the lowest-key speakers of the event, in my estimation, everything that she shared really resonated with me.

My favorite line from her, though, went something like:  “Working at half our capability is exhausting.  Working at nearly all of our capability is exhilarating.”

Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes! 

I can remember when I was younger, thinking that “easy” jobs looked like such a great deal – you can get paid to do almost nothing!  Who’s not gonna like that?  But as an adult, getting paid to do almost nothing doesn’t appeal to me so much.  I’ve had some jobs that didn’t require me to stretch, to push, to try hard – there are problems with that.

  • The workday feels impossibly long.  A low-effort workplace makes me check the clock.  A LOT. 
  • It is easy to feel crabby toward coworkers, which probably stems from being bored and having too much time to focus on others’ shortcomings. 
  • It is more tempting to slack off and to focus anywhere but work, meaning I cheat my employer when I work an “easy” job.
  • It is hard to feel good about my work when my work requires very little of me. 

On the other hand, work that requires almost all of my skill…WOW!  Yes, it is often scary or downright terrifying.  But there’s all the good stuff…

  • The work day and even the work WEEK fly by. 
  • I’m too busy working on my stuff to get all obsessive and judgy about other people’s stuff. 
  • It holds most or all of my attention, and provokes me to innovate and streamline constantly – I consistently improve, helped by the energy flow that comes running near maximum capacity. 
  • I get a feeling of accomplishment as I overcome hurdles.  That builds my confidence. 

I was created for challenge, I guess.  It energizes me.  The privilege of slacking is pretty much never the value that it first purports to be.   At my current job,I am happy to say that I get challenged regularly – and yes, Liz is right – it is exhilarating! 

That feels good – right. 

  1. Pam Spangler says:

    I’m the one in the first job you described not sure where I’m supposed to be right now only the good Lord can show me that when its time

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