Don't be an Ass

This morning I listened to the Tim Ferris interview with Derek Sivers. Lots of great stuff in there, but this fable stood out. The fable of Buridan's Ass (excerpt from Derek Sivers blog)

You may have heard this story: Buridan’s donkey is standing halfway between a pile of hay and a bucket of water. It keeps looking left and right, trying to decide between hay and water. Unable to decide, it eventually dies of hunger and thirst.

I can think of many applications of this to my life, but the one I'm thinking about at the moment is the Pharmacy Profession. I don't think the profession has got a clear view on any long term strategy. What are the core values, the central tenets of the profession? The choice is between profession-centric purpose (profit, prestige) and patient-centric service. Many steps have been taken in the profession-centric direction, but there is still a pull toward the social responsibilities. There has been constant pivoting chasing the next shiny thing rather than consolidating long term strategic goals. Because of the lack of clear leadership, the profession has failed to realise that if they demonstrate value through patient-centric service, they will derive the professional identity that they seek.

This idea of service over ego comes up time and time again the more that I am exposed to creative people. So much so I'm thinking that I must have already written about it. If I'm repeating myself, I don't care, because it's essential. The more you make it about you, the more you diminish the connection with your audience/consumer/whoever, and you sacrifice the optimal outcome. Approach your work with an attitude of servitude and generosity, not ego.


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