The Mediocrity trap

If there is one national trait that we can do without, then it is mediocrity, and it is high time we start asking tough questions of ourselves and our society on the issue.

If one looks at the professional work culture, be it in the government, corporate or private sectors -it is largely defined by mediocrity.

There is almost a pride taken in being mediocre and falling in line with the crowd be it in joining a crowd that takes long lunch breaks or one that equates computer games and gossiping with work.

On the other hand, excellence and confidence is often equated with arrogance and quickly isolated and pushed out, as the herd of the mediocre is unable to stand someone who is actually doing what he or she is supposed to do.

When those who work hard and excel move up in life through their sheer effort then there is hue and cry from the mediocre majority.

This is the main reason why it is so difficult to implement incentive and performance based management systems in Bhutan in an array of organizations.

The moment the hard worker gets recognition or promotion the great crowd of the mediocre, be it in the agency or the larger professional group, show the next two other common societal qualities of sheer pettiness and jealousy.

This problem is not just an organization culture issue but seems to be a societal problem in Bhutan.

We have somehow convinced ourselves that everybody is equal and so everybody should get the same rewards for unequal work and effort. It is quite disturbing to see such a characteristic in Bhutan, which is actually more suited to a socialist state.

Bhutan is a proud nation in a comity of nations. If we want to do well, it is not enough to just leave it up to the government or for that matter to foreign aid donors.

We have to give up lazy indolence and stop expecting everything to be handed on a plate in equal portions, regardless of the effort.

We have to get out of our small town mediocre, petty and jealous mindsets that refuse to encourage or recognize excellence and hard work.

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
Fulton J. Sheen

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