I recently tweeted, “The difference between extraordinary business and bad business is not judged by the level of income, but the level of care. Caring wins.”
The more experience I gain in business, the more I realize that when it comes to character traits, caring is the one I value most. In a recent post, I talked about the importance of caring, and how I believe that if you care enough, you’ll always do your best. And when your best isn’t good enough, you’ll be compelled to learn more and figure it out. And so on.
Since then, I’ve been analyzing every aspect of my work, and the work of others through this caring lens. It’s been a profound experiment, and one I intend to continue. I believe caring is the most essential element of quality, excellence, passion and art.
If someone consistently forgets, I assume they don’t care enough to take steps to remember (set a reminder, leave a note, etc.). If someone is always on time, I assume they care enough to organize their life such that they aren’t late. If I hire someone to paint a room and they do it with excellence, I assume it’s because they cared enough to do so. And of course the opposite is also true.
When someone borrows something, I judge their level of care by the condition of the item returned, or if it was returned at all. Did they care enough to respect and take care of it? Were they careless, or caring?
I believe a healthy relationship is a reflection of a couple’s level of care for one another. They care enough to listen, to stop what they’re doing and work out an issue, to do the extra work to surprise one another with thoughtful gifts and actions. They care. And it shows. And of course the opposite is true.
I care. And my commitment to caring results in my commitment to the extraordinary. I believe the pinnacle of caring is passion. Passion is simply a reflection of large amounts of care. And you can’t create extraordinary art (in the form of work or relationships) without passion. Caring is at the core. Caring wins.
Give me someone that cares and I’ll show you a changemaker, a revolutionary. Mandela cares. So did Gandhi, Mother Theresa and MLK. They cared enough to create change, no matter how difficult the fight. The listened, learned and put in the work. No one forced them. They just cared enough to make it happen.
In my continual quest to understand and fulfill my purpose for this life, I’ve added a new component: the caring lens.
Do you care?
The act of caring should be a traded commodity. It’s the energy that drives any successful company or relationship.
If you care enough, you’ll do your best. If your care enough, you’ll realize from time to time that your best isn’t cutting it, so you’ll study more. You’ll learn from others that are operating at the level you believe you need to operate.
If you care enough, you won’t settle for anything less than excellence. You’ll make sure every detail is covered. You’ll ensure that relationships are handled with care because you know that is paramount to your success.
And of course the opposite is true as well. The lack of care always results in a deficit of all of the wonderful dynamics I’ve just listed above.
Someone should start a school that teaches people to care. Caring should represent the most extensive part of an interview process. Caring should be the thing we care about most.
Caring deeply typically results in a commitment to excellence. The more you care, the better your art.
If you care enough, you’ll figure everything else out and ensure that it happens. And if you don’t, you won’t.