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The risk of thinking of your job as a higher calling

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  • Sure, a cult leader can convince a group that they are part of something very large and important to the world in order to exploit them while disparaging companies like Google who offer work-life balance as “lucky” to be in an “easier” industry. (sounds like an excuse to me) This is capitalism, and we

    Sure, a cult leader can convince a group that they are part of something very large and important to the world in order to exploit them while disparaging companies like Google who offer work-life balance as “lucky” to be in an “easier” industry. (sounds like an excuse to me) This is capitalism, and we are free to work like dogs if we choose. I’m kinda over Musk and his BS tho.

  • Your job should always be a higher calling. I think passion is for losers. Winners have obsession. You know you have a right job when you jump out of the bed at 4 AM and can’t wait to get started. That can only come when you are working for a higher calling.

  • If Elon were to slash his salary to $1 as Steve Jobs did at Apple, the bottom line impact of the pay cut would be negligible, but the people impact of seeing their leader sharing in the sacrifice (even if symbolically) would be huge. Just ask anyone at Apple.

    And as Simon Sinek brilliantly put it - leaders eat last...

  • I'd be interested in what research says the best alternative framings for CEOs like Musk to use are. Is it to point to work satisfaction or conditions? Or is the issue more that Musk is so out of balance and the company's goals so impossible that there isn't really an alternative and those are the underlying problems?

  • A great article especially for anyone who thinks about setting a vision for and motivating a team.

    My take: Elon has a higher purpose for himself that he is willing to pursue non-stop. But he takes great risk in putting his higher purpose consistently above the most precious resource of everyone who works for him: their time.

  • The best jobs will *feel* like a higher calling — that’s what fuels satisfaction and meaning. AND that doesn’t mean you have to abandon work-life balance to serve that calling. Puh-leaze!

    Creative & high-value work performance is aided by a well-rounded life. It enhances empathy, teamwork and fresh

    The best jobs will *feel* like a higher calling — that’s what fuels satisfaction and meaning. AND that doesn’t mean you have to abandon work-life balance to serve that calling. Puh-leaze!

    Creative & high-value work performance is aided by a well-rounded life. It enhances empathy, teamwork and fresh thinking. Work without play is its own prison. Work that feels meaningful IS play.

  • Elon is sorting - self selected privilege of being on his journey with him and all that it takes. He’s also speaking to survivors - the ones that still have their jobs. That is completely different than paying people below their value for teaching or nursing or other roles that traditionally have been

    Elon is sorting - self selected privilege of being on his journey with him and all that it takes. He’s also speaking to survivors - the ones that still have their jobs. That is completely different than paying people below their value for teaching or nursing or other roles that traditionally have been coached as being a higher calling.

    And haha, journalism is perhaps the highest calling right now :)

  • Elon musk is an investor. He hasn’t actually invented anything, but his employees have. You can’t diminish his ability to invest in a company, and its employees. He has done that well. I think the problem is more that Mr. Musk began believing what people wrote about him, which is an inevitable problem

    Elon musk is an investor. He hasn’t actually invented anything, but his employees have. You can’t diminish his ability to invest in a company, and its employees. He has done that well. I think the problem is more that Mr. Musk began believing what people wrote about him, which is an inevitable problem in our society.

    That said, his employees will either believe or they won’t. They will work beyond their ability, or they won’t. Some people are able to work long hours and continue to produce. Some people are unable to work beyond 7 hours a day. We are not created the same, and therefore you can’t create one work ethic for all.

    Lastly, electric cars and space exploration are not saving the planet. There are bigger problems to deal with.

  • You can work in your calling and still be cognizant of the very real dangers of burnout. They are not mutually exclusive and, in fact, are very necessary to do together.

    Musk, while frequently brilliant, is risking massive quality control issues and talent exoduses if he doesn't get it together with

    You can work in your calling and still be cognizant of the very real dangers of burnout. They are not mutually exclusive and, in fact, are very necessary to do together.

    Musk, while frequently brilliant, is risking massive quality control issues and talent exoduses if he doesn't get it together with the fact that work-life balance is a real need.

  • "Choosing to sacrifice work-life balance, instead of revenue, is bad math."

  • This is already the case for mega family businesses across Asia (and other parts of the world). Their personal and professionals lives are already interlinked and the motivation is even higher than a calling: legacy and family responsibility.

  • Early career journalists are particularly susceptible to this. Just trying to be good at your job is more important, and by the time you are actually good at a profession you understand you weren’t “called” you just practiced. Spend a few years writing for newspapers you disagree with and then talk about your vocation.

  • My experience is that calling is bigger than job. If you are clear about your calling, you can do work in alignment or support of your calling. The more you live in alignment the greater impact you can have.

    It’s entirely possible to work a job and calling separately. Not as effective, but not everyone

    My experience is that calling is bigger than job. If you are clear about your calling, you can do work in alignment or support of your calling. The more you live in alignment the greater impact you can have.

    It’s entirely possible to work a job and calling separately. Not as effective, but not everyone can achieve a high level of alignment, at least not quickly.

    Few people really know and understand their calling. If you are one of the few who do, most likely you also know you have a lot of freedom in how to achieve that calling.

    For most Tesla workers it’s probably just a job. But they’ll nod and speak the kool-aid speak to fit in and satisfy their leaders. No one else can do your calling for you. You can rally people to a cause, but only you can own your calling.

  • At Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg believes idealistically that connecting the entire world on a single network is so important that it justifies any means necessary to bring it about. There is an analogous belief at Google with respect to providing access to all the world’s information.

    When employees buy

    At Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg believes idealistically that connecting the entire world on a single network is so important that it justifies any means necessary to bring it about. There is an analogous belief at Google with respect to providing access to all the world’s information.

    When employees buy into such a vision uncritically, they can easily cross lines that an objective person would avoid. That has happened all over Silicon Valley over the past fifteen years.

  • Life isn’t just about being comfortable.

    Work is about foregoing comfort to solve hard problems and produce something excellent.

    Projecting our personal experiences of burnout on others is not fair to us or them.

  • A nice point was made here.

    The “greater cause” projected by our leaders could be easily used to justify work abuse. It’s an easy way out. It could be used to silence the workforce.

    This is a problem especially for purpose-seeking millennials who do not mind working killing hours for the “higher purpose

    A nice point was made here.

    The “greater cause” projected by our leaders could be easily used to justify work abuse. It’s an easy way out. It could be used to silence the workforce.

    This is a problem especially for purpose-seeking millennials who do not mind working killing hours for the “higher purpose” but end up unhappy anyway.

  • Elon’s not running an indentured servitude ring. The employees that “are already burdened” come to work on their own free will. This is the problem with consumers. We all want reasonable prices for extraordinary things BUT when we figure out how the prices happen and WHY we are getting such a good deal

    Elon’s not running an indentured servitude ring. The employees that “are already burdened” come to work on their own free will. This is the problem with consumers. We all want reasonable prices for extraordinary things BUT when we figure out how the prices happen and WHY we are getting such a good deal, we bitch and moan and ask scientists to explain the theory of work life balance to us. But nothing changes because we still want the cheap prices and we all love a good deal. Choose one or the other people.

  • If you want loyalty, buy a dog.

  • “For instance, believing that it’s okay for a fabulously wealthy CEO to lay off thousands of people and put extra time pressures on those left behind—because that’s the way capitalism works,...”

    Perhaps the end never justifies the means but I’ve always liked Tesla as a company, probably due to my love

    “For instance, believing that it’s okay for a fabulously wealthy CEO to lay off thousands of people and put extra time pressures on those left behind—because that’s the way capitalism works,...”

    Perhaps the end never justifies the means but I’ve always liked Tesla as a company, probably due to my love of science... and if it comes down to the moral aptitude of CEO’s (cool topic), I’ll take Musk over Besos any day.

  • This issue can be resolved if the company has the right share structure and reward system for its staff members.

  • As a pastor who works a standard job, too, Ballard is spot on, especially regarding "the cause". I remember Dan Pallota's 2013 TED speech regarding funding "the cause". Pallota noted that we often confuse morality with frugality. While Musk is open about making a profit, while supporting a cause, even

    As a pastor who works a standard job, too, Ballard is spot on, especially regarding "the cause". I remember Dan Pallota's 2013 TED speech regarding funding "the cause". Pallota noted that we often confuse morality with frugality. While Musk is open about making a profit, while supporting a cause, even in his capitalistic bent, he's become confused, too.

  • The rewards for Musk are just a tad more than his employees. However, if an employee finds satisfaction in putting in long hours for a greater good, who are we to question or even condemn such an employee? It is his business and his employees so who's business is it, anyway, how he chooses to operate

    The rewards for Musk are just a tad more than his employees. However, if an employee finds satisfaction in putting in long hours for a greater good, who are we to question or even condemn such an employee? It is his business and his employees so who's business is it, anyway, how he chooses to operate? I would think he would have a hard time retaining employees but those that do stay with him would be in the "inner circle" if they are successful in reaching their goal. And maybe that is the risk (and motivation) for both he and his employees. Not a bad plan, if you ask me.

  • Work is defined very differently from the c-suite as compared to the reality of most workers in any company. A CEO, getting paid millions has every motivation to be "fired up" while the average worker takes home a wage that isn't adequate to pay all their bills and therefore is beaten down progressively

    Work is defined very differently from the c-suite as compared to the reality of most workers in any company. A CEO, getting paid millions has every motivation to be "fired up" while the average worker takes home a wage that isn't adequate to pay all their bills and therefore is beaten down progressively over time into a lesser than version of themselves.

  • This is a misleading title. The two major flaws with the premise here: first you should never assume that your organization defines your purpose. The core purpose of as company is to survive as a company, everything else is secondary. Second, your purpose is never to just buy in to what someone else

    This is a misleading title. The two major flaws with the premise here: first you should never assume that your organization defines your purpose. The core purpose of as company is to survive as a company, everything else is secondary. Second, your purpose is never to just buy in to what someone else says. Our purpose involves doing our best, helping others, making a difference. When that aligns with your org, great, but yes you should always see your job as a higher purpose and make the most of it. This does not imply the “purpose” the company wants is want you want. People need to stop being such sheep, especially when the object is a leader of a company.

  • Any companies are built and maintained on the basis of sharing myths.The framework are nothing different than the group activity.

    This article summed up the adverse influence of powerful leadership.But it's just one story from the writer's view.The other points of view will be helpful to understand the cooperate culture.

  • Sacrificing balance for more hours of work is a risk, but thinking of your job as a higher calling isn’t. You can do meaningful work yet still have balance.

    You just have to know what the risks are and return on investments are for taking those risks. If you know your staff will hate you and quality

    Sacrificing balance for more hours of work is a risk, but thinking of your job as a higher calling isn’t. You can do meaningful work yet still have balance.

    You just have to know what the risks are and return on investments are for taking those risks. If you know your staff will hate you and quality will suffer, that’s the risk you’re willing to take. Just like when you choose to red line your car too much, you risk overheating and damaging the engine.

    I think Elon is going all or nothing, that’s the real risk he’s taking. No one knows if it’s the “right answer,” but I guess time will tell

  • I'm retired. My natural state of being is helping people, one at a time, when they ask me.

  • Hard to engage employees when they are fearful.

  • I wonder why he can’t double the productivity by having day shift and night shift and have more people instead of working the same people to death? Why not two people working for 8 hours a day instead of one person working 16 hours a day and making himself miserable? They will pretty much pay the same

    I wonder why he can’t double the productivity by having day shift and night shift and have more people instead of working the same people to death? Why not two people working for 8 hours a day instead of one person working 16 hours a day and making himself miserable? They will pretty much pay the same amount of money and everyone will have work life balance.

    I wonder if this works? Did anyone try it?

  • -.🌈👍🍀👈👌💰💰👃🏻

  • “There’s only so many hours in a day, and there are only so many hours a person can work and still function.”

  • Good article...

  • @Work