The business world is full of maxims about giving 110% and aiming for the stars. Billions of dollars in income are generated every year by self-help and business gurus teaching you how to stand out, get ahead and leave competitors in a trail of dust. Conversely, however, it is also full of adages about how lonely it is at the top. So is getting to the top or being #1 really all it is cracked up to be? Or is there something to be said for mediocrity? Here are 3 reasons why mediocrity may be underrated.
Less interest in competition may lead to higher productivity rather than less
There can be no doubt that workplaces are competitive. When workers are less concerned with being #1, however, they naturally become less competitive. Less competitive workers not only generally have more time to pitch in and lend a helping hand, they are more likely to be willing to because they don’t see their coworkers as the competition. In some cases, the stress of always having to be #1 or outdo other coworkers can become so overwhelming it may actually lead to less productivity rather than more.
Better work life balance is better for business
Numerous studies have shown the value and benefit to businesses when employees have a full, rich life outside of the workplace. When workers are concerned with always being seen as giving 110%, not only are they less likely to leave work on time to be home for family and friends, they are less likely to be fully present for them when they are. Workers who are mentally and emotionally healthy tend to be the most productive over the long haul and there is little that builds better mental and emotional health than good, strong relationships.
Accepting mediocrity in one area is critical for developing expertise in another
In spite of all of the millions of dollars he has amassed, no one expects Michael Jordan to be some kind of financial genius or successful entrepreneur. It is also unlikely that Micheal Jordan’s accountant or business manager would expect to compete with him on the basketball court, no matter how outstanding they may be in their own area of expertise. When you pour a great deal of passion, focus, dedication and determination to being outstanding in one area, it generally means you are probably pretty mediocre in most other areas. And that’s really okay.