Like many people I often ponder the lives of footballers who earn as much or more in a week than I earn in a year, and wonder why Nature did not see fit to bless me with such talent? Of course it is easy to single out footballers, but the fact is the same holds true for any sportsperson. There is no doubt that special talent brings rich rewards – and not just in sport but in all walks of life.
Nowadays, however, it seems that it is even possible to “earn” (and I use the phrase very euphemistically) such rich rewards without talent but simply through association, which can be even more galling! However, while it could be quite easy to wallow in a sense of injustice and a “why-not-me?” attitude, it would be totally pointless. And it is far too late in life for me to become a HAB (Husband and Boyfriend) or even a WAG (Wife and Girlfriend) if I was that way inclined. So I have little option but to accept the cards I have been dealt.
And yet…. it still all seems so unfair, particularly when one has been taught that we all have different talents. Now of course, there is no manual that says life has to be fair, but thinking along these lines, I began to ask questions, such as:
• How many people are there out there who are potentially better than Beckham, or Federer, or Schumacher, or Madonna or Kylie, who could have done just as well with the same opportunity?
• How many people go through their lives and never discover or develop their talents?
• How many people recognise their talent, but squander it for one reason or another?
• How much latent talent and human potential is wasted in the workplace?
As I pondered that last one and thought about the variety of talents that people do have, I begin to challenge, not so much the rewards that the Beckhams of this world receive, but the different way they are treated. Why are film stars, musicians and sports stars valued as assets in their companies’ books, but not the “little people” – the ones who actually are integral to the organisation and its day-to-day operations, and without whom the wheels wouldn’t run as smoothly? Is it really possible to have a good CEO without a good secretary? And who does more to put off a prospective customer than the receptionist or the switchboard operator?
It was thinking along these lines that led me to think that everyone should be valued, and to develop the concept of “Human Assets.” An organisation is made up of all the people who work for it, and while not all may be able to “Bend it like Beckham,” all should be able to “Benefit like Beckham.” Of course the scale won’t be the same, but the principle is. After all, a desk is just as much an asset as the machine that makes the widgets!
Why should people be treated differently, just because their talents are different?