Friday, January 14, 2011

The Art of Being Smart

You often hear people say: don't just work hard, work smart. Unfortunately, this maxim, well-intentioned though it may be, is also the the biggest excuse for being lazy,

The problem is that there are people who think they are being 'smart' by cutting corners, taking advantage of other peoople or screwing the system. Evading work is considered smart. They spend their entire lives avoiding difficult tasks and only doing things that they like or enjoy. Any kind of work that requires some effort is considered 'low-level' or not worthy of their time.

That fact is that most people are smart enough, and that is good enough for me. As an employer, I would prefer a hardworking guy with average ability but possesses an eagerness to learn than one who thinks he is a genius and insists on cherry-picking work.

Of course, a hardworking and brilliant person would be the ideal combination. Having such a talent would be a boon to any company or team. But a manager has to plan for a system to work sufficiently well with average material. If one is lucky enough to get an outstanding talent, then that would be bonus. Stars come and go, but the machinery has to continue ticking.

No one in their right frame of mind would consciously 'work stupid'. It is a given that we have to always work as smart as we can. Hardwork doesn't mean mindlessly doing something like an automaton; instead, it implies an attitude of constantly giving one's best and never letting go of an opportunity to learn.

Hardwork is the art and practice of being smart. By working hard, one inevitably becomes smart.