We think that it's easy to describe what we do for a living, but is it? I'll use two examples - Gregg Popovich, and myself. (See if you can tell us apart.)
The essence of Popovich's job is to encourage other men to amass four numbers - the San Antonio Spurs' scores in four NBA final games - and ensure that those four numbers are higher than the scores of the other team in the NBA finals. The NBA finals is a best of seven series, so if you win four games - or have four higher scores than the other team - you win the championship. If Popovich can only amass three higher numbers (meaning that the other team has four higher numbers, or four wins), then Popovich didn't do his job. If the Spurs don't even get to the NBA finals, then Popovich didn't do his job.
Incidentally, this is why I was never bent out of shape when Popovich sat his stars during the regular season. His goal is to win four NBA finals games. His goal isn't to make people at a Miami Heat regular season game happy. Heck, his goal isn't even to make his own fans happy during the regular season. His goal is to win the finals.
My job is slightly different from Popovich's job, but it can also be boiled down to its essence - something that I did in a comment on a Colleen Jolly post.
I take contributions from many people and create a pile of paper. Sometimes, the "judges" think that my pile of paper is better than the other piles of paper.
Now you can also extrapolate jobs into abstractions. Popovich makes San Antonio citizens happy. I save lives by keeping dangerous criminals off the streets.
What do you do?
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