We’ve had some great discussion related to what it means to go about this thing called “work”, especially as it pertains to working in a corporate environment. While many of the things I’ve been sharing fit well in a corporate context, others are pretty universal to any workplace, large or small. Here’s a few that I think apply no matter where you work:
- Use every day as an opportunity to learn something AND teach something. Even if it is just one small thing. Something you didn’t know before and will help make your job a little easier. Or something that you know how to do that will make a co-worker’s job a whole lot easier. Instead of judging your day solely on what you “got done”, judge it on whether you learned and taught.
- If you drink coffee, learn to make coffee. First the literal. No one likes to find an empty pot and always be the one making coffee. So if you drink it, take the 45 seconds to make new for everyone else. But more generally… don’t just be a “consumer”, be a “producer” too. Everybody knows someone who only operates in consume mode. They drain their environment but never try to recharge it. They tear down but never build up. And they look at every situation as an opportunity to get, not give. Don’t be that guy.
- It’s more fun to be a pirate than join the navy. No disrespect meant to our servicemen, but there is something about feeling like you are calling your own shots even if your duties don’t change much. To make this work, though, you have to take ownership of your work. Whether you own your own businesses or work for a large mega-corporation, find that one thing about your job you get passionate about, then make it your own. Do it like no one else does knowing that your efforts help both your company, and your engagement. Wearing an eyepatch is optional.
- To work for a great company you have to help make it great every day. Great companies are never made, they are always in the process of being made(or made better). Great should always be seen as future tense, not present tense, because as soon as you stop pushing for great you are already on the decline toward average. And it’s definitely not something that can be earned in the past and then enjoyed by the present team. So if you feel like you are working for a company who falls short of great stop and ask yourself, “what have I done to make it greater?”
- Be a secret +1-er. In the midst of work, there are always things that drive you nuts. Small process improvements that need to be made. Content that needs to be refreshed. A conference room that needs tidied up. What stops you from doing it? Sometimes it’s busyness, but often it is just easier to complain about it than make it happen. So pick one thing every week that you can improve by one notch and see how it changes your environment. By doing it in secret you may not get the kudos you might deserve, but you’ll be able to watch from the sidelines to see how it impacts other people.
I’ll continue to keep updating these as long as folks find them helpful, but I’m also looking to learn from you. That said…
- I’d love your thoughts on what I’ve written via comments below. Agree? Great, tell me why. Disagree? Excellent, share your different view. Trying to sell me SEO? Don’t bother, just click here and save us both time.
- Share your own “top lessons” reflections so I can learn from you. The more discussion, the more we learn together.
Until next time…
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