There are a few interesting factors we should study when we look at our free enterprise and capitalistic-natured economy.
First, consider that free enterprise evokes and encourages competition.
Second, consider that the capitalist system requires an entity to generate profit to survive.
Two things that I think have made America the world leader in innovation.
The competitive environment and the need to produce a profit generated the need for corporate entities to develop systems.
This is what led Henry Ford to create the assembly line, the most famous industrialized system to date.
As Seth Godin explains in his book Linchpin, the key-factor of using an assembly line was to have parts or resources that were identical and replaceable.
“If this part breaks, no problem, we’ve got hundreds more.”
This drove the cost of making a car down substantially.
The basic goal of a system is to do two things: make each part of the system as easy to do as possible, and make each part of that system as inexpensive as possible.
This is great when we are thinking about assembly lines and widgets.
However, what about the term “human resources”?
Once we start thinking about humans as being resources, the equation seems to change a bit.
It was still ok when it was “those people,” the low-income humans whom we can replace on a construction site, at a retail counter or in a call center.
But when it’s us, the middle managers with college degrees that seem to be the victims of the replaceable equation, everything changes!
Now, suddenly, the system seems malicious, evil, corrupt, vindictive, unfair and just-downright-scary when we consider that it’s gotten so good that it has made the entire American middle-class employee pool REPLACEABLE!
Well, I, for one, will contest that it’s still a great equation!
When people with little or no education were working on the assembly line, having the income from that job was a blessing, as it was for the middle managers and so on.
It blessed them with the level of comfort they decided to engage.
Now that the majority of the middle class has decided to engage in levels of comfort that were available, but not within their means, they are getting very scared about the ever-improving ability of the system to replace them.
Instead, I challenge people to start thinking about how they can create their own systems.
I challenge them to fight the nearly-irresistible seduction and vice-grip addiction we have to comfort; to start thinking of ways that we can create systems that provide value and bless the lives of others who are glad and willing to be assembly-line workers.
International communication systems are getting faster, better and cheaper!
People from around the world are getting more and more familiar with American culture and systems.
This allows them to be able to work in our economy without having to move from their home (let alone their country) or have to embark on a huge learning curve.
A few final things to think about.
We are no longer in an industrialized economy.
Our younger generations have an understandable disdain for all forms of authority, to include the corporate hierarchy.
Corporations don’t hold the power that they once had, as evidenced by the growing number of younger people generating small businesses that are competitive with the corporate Goliath’s of yesterday.
The playing field is now Level and Global.
Most of the rote memorization, Speck-and-Dump things you learned in school are useless to you here.
My question to you is, are you going to stay on the sidelines and watch as the employee middle class disappears, or are you going to get on the field and play?!
One very good thing that our school system taught us: 1st grade prepared us for 2nd grade, Middle school prepared us for High school… And so it is with business: your first business is to prepare you for your second business, and so on…
One very bad thing that our school system taught us: you fail a test and it has a negative effect on your ‘final grades’.
In business, if you fail a test, it almost always has a positive effect on your final grade!
Those who avoid failure in business tend to learn very little, thus their business grows very little as well; Those who embrace failure in business, on the other hand, learn a great deal, and thus this reflects in their business.
Go on, Be a Warrior, Create your own System!
Or your second, or your third system, and keep going until you learn how to make one that works!
Otherwise, go be a part of a system that is naturally designed to create ways to replace you.
A graduate of West Point Academy, Kevin served six years as an officer in the U.S. Army Field Artillery. He held a combat arms leadership role for his entire career, except one staff position, during which he obtained a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management. He also served in Iraq during “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Since the military, Kevin has worked for Honeywell as an earned-value analyst in the aerospace department, in Phoenix Arizona.
He started testing his leadership skills in the entrepreneurial world by starting several companies, to include a real estate company and a business mailing-address company. Kevin loves to serve people who have a yearning to create a better life for themselves and others. He is passionate about teaching people the importance of something that most take for granted: relationships.
Kevin lives in Phoenix with his wife and two daughters. Read and subscribe to Kevin’s Warrior Blog here.