#BreakTheRules #employers #GoodWorks
Sometimes, one makes progress by following a set of rules.
Sometimes, one really gets ahead by breaking the rules.
At the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, if one breaks the rules or otherwise shakes up the status quo, he can win $250,000.
Tamara Best discussed this program in a New York Times article, which was published in the March 20, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“There are people doing really important things, breaking either the rules or sticking to their principles with knowledge that they will be hurt or punished in some way,” Best quotes Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab.
“In a lot of large institutions, there’s really two ways you can make progress,” Best quotes Ethan Zuckerman, director of MIT’s Center for Civic Media. “You can make progress when people follow the rules and work their way through the processes, and then sometimes you can make very radical progress by someone who essentially says, ‘Look, these processes don’t work anymore, and I need to have a radical shift in what I’m doing,” Zuckerman’s quote continues.
If you work for someone else, you should follow your employer’s rules. Some employers don’t handle radical thinkers well.
But let’s talk about “rules” that your parents perhaps handed down to you. They may go something like: Get a job with good benefits and decent pay. Keep your head down at work. Do what you are told. Your job security is the best thing you have. (I would use the word “own,” but no one owns a job. One may take ownership of his work, but the job belongs to the employer).
We’ve come to learn that these rules are obsolete. You can do great work, show up every day, stay out of trouble and even put in lots of extra effort that may or may not be in your job description. That may not keep you in a job for as long as you want to be.
Your good works may not get you into heaven, and they may not guarantee you job security anymore.
What to do?
Think radical. Upset the apple cart. Do something – perhaps not at work or on the job – that others might not do for fear of breaking the “rules.”
Some might say that I can think radical as well as anyone, but it may not get me anywhere, except in trouble.
There is a way you can think, if not radical, at least outside the rule box.
You can look at one of many ways you can earn an income without a traditional job. You can work for yourself. You can help others along the way. All you have to do is be open enough to check it out. If you’d like to check out one of the best vehicles to accomplish this, message me.
In some settings, it’s OK to break the rules, especially if the rules don’t help you get what you want. Sometimes, the rules are enticing you to break them. That can be good – or bad – depending on the setting.
The best rule for breaking the rules is to do it in a setting where it is encouraged. That can be at a place like MIT’s Media Lab, or in your own home.
Some rules are meant to be broken. Others break themselves. So examine your situation and determine whether it’s time to break the rules – or not.