Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Animal Studies/Laws of Nature

Freedom = Loyalty: Understanding the Self-Employed Mindset

Since the rise of the Industrial Age, the vast majority of the population have chosen to go with regular employment in order to make a living due to existing incentives (e.g., pensions, benefits, etc.). Since this trend has been the norm for quite some time, self-employment has become perceived as “the ugly stepchild” – something people turn to when they “can’t get a job.” It’s true that a good contingent of people are forced into this situation, however there are still many who purposely choose it. Are they crazy?

Often I’ve heard that those who prefer regular employment and those who prefer self-employment don’t understand each other. Indeed, it seems to be the case of different values, motivations, and fears. I believe this gap between those who have an employee mindset and those who have a self-employment mindset is encapsulated well by one of my favorite Aesop’s fables, “The Dog and the Wolf.” For those who are unfamiliar with this story, here it is in the video below: Read more of this post

Lessons from the Whooping Crane: What a Healthy Competitive Working Style Looks Like

Whooping cranes in flight

Whooping cranes in flight (Photo credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie)

From the Winter 2012-2013 issue of Bird Conservation, Joseph Duff, C.E.O. of Operation Migration, writes:

The lead bird does most of the work, but not from any sense of duty. Instead, he is out front because he is the strongest and most aggressive and has pushed his way to the lead. The bird behind can feel the lift created by the vortices his wingtips generate, and instinctively learns to take advantage of that assistance by flying just off to one side. Each bird in the row adds to that wake, creating more lift for the one behind until the last bird in the row adds to that wake, creating more lift for the one behind until the last bird is gaining the most benefit. Each individual pushes its way forward according to endurance. That aggressive behavior and their instinct to find the easiest way to fly gives the flock a common endurance so the weaker birds can keep up with the strongest. Throughout the line, birds will challenge the one ahead of them much like a competitive cyclist will tuck in behind the leader, waiting for an opportunity to steal the lead when he shows signs of fatigue. Without that ability, the flock could not stay together. Read more of this post

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