There was a good op-ed from Thomas Friedman in yesterday's New York Times titled, Average Is Over, Part II. The key line for me is:
Thanks to the merger of, and advances in, globalization and the information technology revolution, every boss now has cheaper, easier access to more above-average software, automation, robotics, cheap labor and cheap genius than ever before. So just doing a job in an average way will not return an average lifestyle any longer.
I've written in the past that hard work isn't enough anymore and as Friedman points out this is becoming more and more true. If a person or a machine anywhere in the world can do your job as effectively as you can at a cheaper cost it is simply a matter of time before you're unemployed. You have to find a way to add irreplaceable value.
In some ways, I think the key to thriving in this new environment is just to simply be aware that doing a "good enough" job isn't enough anymore.
I'm glad Friedman is giving people that awareness.