Work in the age of industrial revolution was founded on the principle that what we care about and are committed to need have no connection to what we do. The production lines invented by the great industrialists required only that we wished to make a living. We just had to show up and, ideally, set our cares and concerns aside so we could get to work.
This works only as for long as we’re willing to treat ourselves as the machines upon which this premise is based.
It’s stupendously difficult to do well anything that matters over a sustained period without caring about it deeply. It’s equally difficult to do anything creative, responsive, alive, or which has depth beyond its surface appearance, without a strong sense of heartfelt commitment to the work. And it’s a perilous endeavour to embark on a project without being in relationship with others who care about it too.
But we forget this.
So often, in modern organisations, we expect people to jump into action without addressing this essential matter of the heart. We begin new endeavours without taking the time to talk together about why it matters to us.
We say “we’re a team” without making any serious effort to find out what binds us.
And then we wonder why it seems so hard.
And why the wind seems to be sucked from our sails so quickly, and so often.