Corporate environments and bureaucracies breed mediocrity. Because they need to be fair, create standardisations, benchmarks that compresses people into narrow dimensions by which they are assessed. It is part of the industrial complex to commoditise things and so they do the same to people, calling them a resource. Something to be mined, to be consumed and used up.
But it can be good news for those truly mediocre. You can hide behind those standardisation, those benchmarks and do the minimum, just below the firing line. And you get by. Yet for most of us, there is a tension in playing this part. We feel like frauds who will be found out one day; we think about justifying our salaries – and it usually seem to involve doing more mediocre stuff. Like complying to processes, passing along the paperwork, routing information to the right people.
Over time, the tension entrenches resentment, and people leave. Only the shamelessly mediocre stays. And by that compounding effect, the organisation gradually sinks into mediocrity. They are saved perhaps only by their mission and vision statement, by being able to continually attract the capable and milking them before they become jaded.
So are you shamelessly mediocre or shamefully mediocre? Perhaps it is time to work to create the future you want to live in. To do work that makes a difference rather than just make a living.