By Ron Pereira Updated on July 8th, 2011

It’s 12:43 AM and I’ve been in the zone working on some Gemba Academy projects.

I can’t explain it… but I love working late into the night from time to time.  I do think getting adequate sleep is supremely important so I don’t always work late like this… but things are flowing nicely tonight so I’m going with it.

Anyhow, I got thinking about how we lean thinkers often preach things such as work smarter, not harder… or how lean is about getting the maximum result from the minimum effort. And I definitely agree with this thinking.

But here’s the thing folks. While I pretty much got straight A’s in college (OK, I got 1 B which was a total robbery but I digress) trust me when I say it wasn’t because of my staggering intellect.

Not the Smartest Cat Around

You see I’ve never been the smartest guy around… I’m not an idiot or anything but I have to work at things. I used to re-copy my Calculus notes after class because my initial notes were too sloppy. People used to think I was CrAzY for doing this… but I HAD to if I wanted that A.

Nothing Beats Hustle

I used this same attitude when I worked in industry.  I simply worked harder than most people… as such I went from a night shift Process Technician at Nokia to a Global Director of Manufacturing at Flowserve Corporation.  And now I’m blessed enough to run my own company.  How did this all happen? Hustle.  That’s how.

I’m also doing my very best to teach my children the value of hard work and practice and that if they work harder than others their chance of success is much higher than if they simply try to get by with minimal effort. 

So, I guess the point I want to stress here is to, of course, work smart.  Be productive.  Eliminate waste.  Be lean!  Obviously this is the right thing to do.

But please don’t ever forget that NOTHING beats hustle.  Nothing.  So no matter what God has called you to do I beg you to do your VERY best at it. 

If you sweep floors for a living sweep them better than anyone ever before.  And if you’re the CEO of a huge company be the best damn CEO you can be.  And if you’re somewhere in between these two professions… well you get the point.

What do you think?

What do you think of this?  Is the idea of hard work and hustle too old school?  Or should we all seek the glorious 4 hour work week so many claim to envy?

What do you think?

  1. Mike Moss

    July 7, 2011 - 7:03 am

    Great post – I couldn’t agree more. As someone who can relate to not being smartest cat, I truly believe that hustle, hard work and a positive attitude can propel you into a position where opportunities present themselves. Having the ability and drive to take advantage of the opportunities is what then seperates a leader from a grinder.

    • Ron Pereira

      July 7, 2011 - 12:15 pm

      Well said, Mike. Thanks for reading and the comment. All the best to you!

  2. Amy Lewis

    July 7, 2011 - 8:16 am

    What an inspiring post! Thank you for giving me the kick start I needed.

    • Ron Pereira

      July 7, 2011 - 12:15 pm

      You’re very welcome, Amy! And thanks for the kind words.

  3. V. Karthik

    July 8, 2011 - 3:16 am

    Wonderful post and inspiring too! I too believe that true hard work and dedication are important and as you nicely put, that coupled with the Lean way of working would work wonders. Am proud to note that I too try to put in my effort in roughly something of this direction..

    • Ron Pereira

      July 8, 2011 - 6:06 am

      Thanks for the comment and kind words, V!

  4. Jim Eichelberger

    July 13, 2011 - 4:37 am

    As a non-degreed individual with a life-long thirst for knowledge I agree that hustle and heart will win the race every time. It’s not always the easiest path but it is very rewarding from a personal standpoint.. Thanks for acknowledging all of the “hustlers” out there….you know who you are.

Have something to say?

Leave your comment and let's talk!

Start your Lean & Six Sigma training today.