If you make coffee one cup at time, like a trained barista does, you can focus on crafting each cup, but you’ll have a hard time scaling to make 100 cups. When a busy period comes, you’re going to have long lines of people waiting for their coffee. Coffee urns, up to a limit, don’t care how many people show up or when they do. They keep many cups of coffee warm no matter what. Whether there are just three late-night diners, or a rush of busy commuters in the morning, there’ll be enough coffee. If we were modeling coffee urns in boring computing terminology, we could say that they have no scaling factor. They perform a constant amount of work no matter how many people want a coffee. They’re O(1), not O(N), if you’re into big-O notation, and who isn’t.
Many leaders feel that it’s their responsibility to make their team happy. While having happy team members is an admirable goal, it’s also not the sole focus of leaders. A leader has failed if people are happy, but the team has yet to make progress towards their goal. Happiness can also be elusive. You might offer challenging work, a supportive and friendly environment, compensate well, and someone may still be unhappy. Happiness is a choice; you can’t “make” someone happy.