Are you the fastest at anything worth measuring?

Nametagscott
2 min readMay 22, 2021

Trying to quantify something that isn’t important

Typing tests measure the number of words you can accurately process in a minute.

The average professional typist reaches speeds of about fifty to eighty words per minute, although certain positions can require up to a hundred.

This topic has been on my mind because several of my coworkers recently had a friendly office competition to see who could score the highest.

Definitely fun to watch, although the test got me thinking.

When did we decide that this number was an indicator of competence? When did we agree that it mattered how fast a person could type the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog?

Your words per minute score certainly matters for data entry, court stenography and transcriptionist jobs. And most companies probably aren’t going to hire candidates who use the hunt and peck technique to do their work.

But for the majority of modern professionals out there, there isn’t a strong correlation between hitting keys and creating value. Typing speed and accuracy is far less important than skills like creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, selling ability, communication skills and problem solving.

What good is writing something faster than anybody if your words engage nobody?

Michelangelo took three years to complete his sculptural masterpiece, yet no historians measure his worth as an artist in pieces of stone chipped per day.

Seinfeld claims that he often takes an hour to write a single sentence, and he’s the only comedian in history worth a billion dollars.

It may true that if we can’t measure it, then we can’t manage it. But you have to be measuring the right things for that equation to matter in the first place.

The danger in business is that we often become preoccupied with trying to quantify something that isn’t important.

And for most of the working world, bragging about how many words per minute you can type isn’t really productivity, it’s just corporate materialism.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you the fastest at anything worth measuring?

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Nametagscott

Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. CEO/Founder of getprolific.io. Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.