I am a hard worker. But I am struggling to become a smart worker. The difference between these two things is enormous.

Recently I have been spending my days evaluating the work of call center agents from Pakistan to the Philippines. At anyone time there are four to six call centers going through TaskUs TNT (testing and training).

Last week Jaspar and I sat down to evaluate and offer feedback on research reports we had six agents prepare individually. With in half an hour Jaspar was done with all three of the reports he was responsible for. I had yet to finish my first.

“You’re done!” I blurted out, making no attempt to disguise my irritation at what I perceived to be laziness. “I mean did you even offer any feedback?!”

Bubbling with resentment, I finished my evaluations and asked Jaspar, “do you think I am just a lot less productive than you are?”

In the conversation that ensued I realized that Jaspar actually had the right approach. I was offering paragraphs of feedback and documents with spelling corrections and syntax suggestions etched into the document via Track Changes to call centers that will probably never work for us. We are in the Testing phase now trying to determine the three to four call centers out of 30 or 40 tested we will hire full time.

My approach has long been aggressiveness and endurance. While these qualities are essential to building any business from the ground up, in the modern world sly and savvy are equally as important…they can make your life a lot easier too.

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