A business in its simplest form can be broken down into two components:
1)The entrepreneur/employer/leader/visionary and;
2) The worker/employee/operator/the helper
On face value you would expect the employer is more valuable then the employee. Since the employer is typically paid more i.e. they withdraw more resources out of the business hence it is logical to assume they are critical in delivering more resources into the business (like all business decisions its a simple cost/benefit analysis: the benefit of the business having this leader outweighs the cost of paying him/her).
The above question is akin to asking which is more valuable to life: the plant or the rock?
How would you answer such a question? It’s not an easy question.
The plant is exciting it grows, flourishes, changes, its dynamic however without the rock within the soil how can the plant grow? The rock provides the stability, the unchanging constant, the reliance in order to enable the plant to continually grow.
The plant provides value to the rock as without the plant, the rock does not achieve its goal to produce growth and it will remain the same for all of time. From this line of thinking you can’t say one is more valuable than the other; they are both equally valuable as they both contribute to each other’s success and achievements equally.
The employer is akin to the plant: he/she is the dynamic, always changing life force behind the business. Without the employer, there is a lack of cohesive vision for improvement and growth and life.
However, what is achieved by the employer alone? The reality is very little. For example, we all have been in a situation (business or social) where we have been part of a visionary leadership discussion where everyone has much creative, exciting ideas. There is much discussion and exuberant energy charged across the room but at the end of the day unless there is a clear pathway for delegation to the worker nothing gets done and the same discussion is had a month later (nothing moves forward).
The employee is more akin to the rock: the stable force, that gets up, goes to work and gets the job done. This cannot be said for the employer who must be creative. If the employer is not in the mood, does not have those "creative juices" flowing no inspiring change or growth will happen that day.
Therefore, the employee is like the rock, the employee is stable and constant (albeit dormant), they are always there waiting to be utilised. Once used (minerals are absorbed), the process of nourishment and achievement (life/growth) for the business will occur.
The Successful Business Equation
With that in mind, which component of the business is more valuable: the employer or the employee?
Without stability, there is no reliance the business cannot achieve stable output -> customer delivery will ultimately fall short.
Without a visionary there is no change, the business cannot grow and ultimately will lose its competitive advantage.
From this line of thinking you cannot say one is more valuable than the other, they are both equally valuable as they both complement each other equally.
Creativity (Employer) + Stability (Employee) = Success.
The Equation of Society
Let's now take this a step further, who is more valuable to society:
1) The rich, the powerful, the celebrity or;
2) The poor, the submissive, the unknown
The reality is the rich can only be defined as the rich in contrast to who is poor, the powerful can only be defined as the powerful in contrast to who are his/her followers (submissive) and the celebrity can only be defined as the celebrity in contrast to who is the common person. You cannot have one without the other.
The rich, the powerful, the celebrity is the plant as they are a dynamic, creative life force we all look towards for inspiration. However, they can only be defined this way if they receive the resources (minerals) from the poor, the submissive, the unknown who in this case is the rock.
From this line of thinking you cannot say one is more valuable than the other; they are both equally valuable as they both complement each other equally.
The Self Balancing Equation of Life
1) If you fall into the category of the plant it is easy to become a bit arrogant, self-indulgent and perhaps narcissistic. However, you should remind yourself you cannot be who you are without all the help you had and currently receiving.
People in these positions of power are actually at the mercy of their contrasting fellow persons – they are all equal. If you do not remind yourself of this, you are destined to be "corrected" through failure.
For example, the moment the wealthy business owner starts distancing themselves from the common people, they lose their creative insight (as they are caught in a small enclosed world which does not foster imagination) leading to point where ultimately the business will lose its competitive advantage hence commences a destructive pathway leading to a loss of wealth. Where an individual is driven by ego, society is set up to foster a change in the status of the person from plant to rock.
2) If you fall into the category of the rock it is easy to become despondent with life, trapped in a negative cycle experiencing little self-worth. However, you should remind yourself you are fundamentally important to life, without your achievements cannot be made, without your unrelenting stability the world will have no reliance it would be chaos.
Therefore, in society when a person remains humble, happy to work day in, and day out, in a role which they may not understand completely the greater picture but silently achieve anyway and do so with pride, they are awarded with promotions. This is because people in society tend to gravitate towards them thus enabling their world to be opened and becomes much larger fostering creativity thus enabling leadership opportunities. From this humble attitude, society is set up to encourage a change in status for this person from rock to plant.
In life, it is therefore always best to view each person who enters your world as your equal. As you can see, you can never say one is more valuable then another; everyone is equally as valuable as they complement each other.
For more information about finding a work/life balance that is best for you, please contact the expert contributor.