This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
Last week I was reading Seth Godin's blog he gave A Manifesto for small teams doing important work. This got me to thinking about things that I think are important for me at work. Yes, I have used a few of Seth's ideas, but his post kick-started me to write more on this subject.
Which is what he tries to do, make us think.
So here are some of the things that I think are important to me at work and how I attempt to approach being in the work environment.
- First and foremost - Do the right thing for the right reasons. No surprise there.
- Smile more - it makes a difference and makes people wonder what you are thinking.
- Care more. If you do not care about what we are doing, what ARE you doing?
- It is okay to stand-out and be an individual, but remember you are not irreplaceable.
- Think more about being humble on a daily basis, being an butthead serves no purpose.
- Observe -> Orient -> Decide -> Act and repeat. Yeah, it works.
- Time is fleeting, use it wisely and understand that it will not always be 9-5.
- Do not be afraid of taking that first step. It is still the hardest one.
- Learn what success will look like and what you will do with unexpected results as you move forward.
- Thinking outside the box is a good thing.
- However, think about why the box is there. Sometimes there really were reasons. Are they still valid?
- Clean up your own mess, don’t play the blame game - fix it if you can, get help if you can’t.
- Clean up other people's messes, but don’t whine, throw them under the bus or brag that you are.
- Take the high road.
- People are and will be our most valuable advantage, resource and priority.
- Do not purposely take advantage of, hurt, embarrass or blindside others. That Golden Rule thing.
- Talk to everyone as if they were your boss, your most valued customer or someone you greatly respect.
- If you do not know the answer be honest and say “I don’t know...but I will attempt to find it”.
- Ask “Is there anything else I help you with…”
- Say Thank You.
- Newer is not always better, but sometimes it is. Know the difference.
- Procedures, processes, machines, technology and social media are not why we do what we do.
- They are tools to help us get things done, not excuses to do less.
- Look for reasons to get things done despite procedures, process or technology issues.
- Look for simplicity over complicated or glitz.
- It doesn’t need to be a Rube Goldberg machine, process or procedure, to be effective or work.
- Lock in the things that must be locked in, leave the implementation loose, you will need that flexibility - Godin's
- Always be seeking a better way. A better rolodex is better, even if we don't have rolodexes any more. - Godin's
- Keep current in your field, but do not be afraid to learn new skills, even if they are not your specialty.
- What you did yesterday, might not be what you are doing today or will be doing tomorrow.
- Be willing to do. Yeah, you gotta just "do" things at times, even if they are below or above your pay grade.
- Question ideas, premises and strategy, the old “this is how we do it here” or ask “why”.
- There is a time and place for asking the hard questions. Know the risks and yes, there are many.
- Asking questions, is different than challenging or subverting authority.
- Do “they” know the difference?
- Do you?
- Sleep on your questions first - if you can.
- Words have meaning and consequences (good and bad) that go with them.
- Use your words judiciously.
- "I'll know it when I see it," is not a professional thing to say.
- Describing and discussing in the abstract and communicating clearly is what we do. Godin's
- Don't question honest effort or intent, you may not have the full story or all the information.
- Sometimes your perception is not someone else’s reality, is there a second side to look at?
- Get the full story or more information when you can or if you need to.
- Lastly, think about it, whatever it is.
I have worked on this list a lot over the last week, re-arranged, added, subtracted, re-worded and yes, even thought about what is important to me at work. I think this list pretty much sums up how I approach being a member of the team at work.
However, since I am human, do I achieve all of these everyday - of course not.
I just do my best.