Are you a champ or a chump? And what about the people around you? I suspect you know some of each.
For example, you’ve probably got some wonderful coworkers on your team. They’re hard working, dedicated, and loyal. They’ve got champ or champion written all over them.
But you also know some people who don’t have a lot of drive and they don’t take a lot of initiative. They just put in their time. Some of them even joke about it. They’ll say such things as, “I’ve just got 7 more years, 3 months, and 2 days and I’m out of here.” They’ve got chump written all over them.
Well, I’ve got hundreds of thousands of people who read and have been reading my Tuesday Tips for years. And I know they are champions, want to be champions, or are in the process of becoming champions.
To make sure you’re among the champions, to make the next 12 months the best year of your life, work, and relationships, there are six trademarks you must adopt.
► 1. Regard work as a privilege, not a problem.
It’s like the manager who asked his new secretary, “Why don’t you ever answer the telephone?” She said, “Why should I? Nine times out of ten it’s for you!”
Employees who see work as more of a problem than a privilege tend to be complainers. And complainers can almost always find something to complain about.
For example, a condemned spy was led out at dawn to be shot. The rain was fierce and the wind was bitter. The spy turned bitterly to one of the guards and said, “What beasts you are to march me out to be shot in a rain like this.” One guard replied with equal bitterness, “What are you complaining about? We’ve got to march back.”
When I hear someone complaining about their job, I often think, “If you don’t like employment, try unemployment. They are literally millions of people who would be overjoyed to have your job.”
Champions regard work as a privilege.
► 2. Recognize the high cost of not being committed.
Chumps fail to realize that they’re paying a huge personal price for not being fully committed to their work. They may even think they’re getting away with something by doing just enough to get by on their jobs.
The truth is chumps pay a very high cost. They pay the cost of lowered self-esteem. They can’t possibly feel good about themselves by doing the bare minimum.
And they pay the high cost of eventual unemployment. Even though the economy is very good right now, it won’t stay that way. It never does. So when things turn south, it’s the chumps that are most likely to be let go first. That’s why I tell people in my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience they had better get fired up, or they may get fired.
Robert Shockey of the John Henry Company is a committed champion. As a Journey alumnus, he writes, “Your Journey program was the impetus for the most substantial and meaningful change of my adult life.”
And Ted Phelps from the John Deere Company became a champion as a result of his attendance at my Journey program. Ted says: “It’s so easy to let things go and get apathetic about our lives instead of going for the very best. I have to say that your JOURNEY-TO-THE-EXTRAORDINARY experience opened my eyes. It showed me how to get the most out of life and live it to the fullest.”
My next and last public offering of the Journey will be in St. Louis on April 23-24, 2020. To save $400 on your tuition, register now.
► 3. Champions focus on how they can do more than is expected.
Whether it’s dazzling a customer with better service than she’s ever experienced before or surprising a coworker by offering extra help, champions focus on how they can do more than is expected. They know that if they only do what they’re paid to do, they’ll never be offered a job with any more responsibility or any more money.
► 4. Champions decide to enjoy their work, no matter what.
Certainly, no job is perfect. There’s always room for improvement. And there’s always something you could complain about.
In spite of that, champions decide they’re going to like their work. It’s a decision they make, not a feeling they have.
Champions hold Katherine Graham’s philosophy. As a great publisher, she said, “To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun?”
And enjoying your work always improves the quality of your work. Aristotle said, “Pleasure on the job puts perfection in the work.” So it’s no wonder that champions are high performers and quality improvers.
Your job may not be fun. It may not even be meaningful. But if you’re going to be a champion, you must decide to enjoy your work … no matter what.
► 5. Champions know hard work is good for the soul.
Most people know it’s good for the company. It’s good for the customer. It’s even good for the country. But only the champions know that hard work is also good for the soul.
Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of several best-selling books, says it so well. He says: “Work hard, not solely because it will bring you rewards and promotions, but because it will give you a sense of being a competent person. Something corrosive happens to the souls of people who stop caring about the quality of their work…and begin to go through the motions.”
► 6. Champions see the good in every situation.
It’s one of their trademarks. Somehow or other, they know it keeps them positive and productive.
Champions see the good in every situation. And no, they’re not naive. Like anyone else they can see what’s wrong with a situation, but they don’t get stuck on that point. Champions see the good in any situation and focus on how they could make it even better.
Of course, such “positive thinking” will annoy the chumps in most companies. They’ll see the champs as Pollyannaish or blind, and they’ll be disgusted with those champs who aren’t wallowing in the negativity with them. So be it.
It’s like Frank who constantly irritated his friends with his eternal optimism. No matter how horrible the circumstances, he’d remark, “It could have been worse.”
To cure him of his annoying habit, his friends decided to invent a situation that was so bad, so terrible that even Frank could find no hope in it.
On the golf course one day, his friends said, “Frank did you hear about Tom? He came home last night, found his wife in bed with another man, shot them both, and then turned the gun on himself.”
“That’s horrible,” Frank said. “But it could have been worse.”
“How could it possibly be any worse?” his friends asked.
“Well,” Frank answered, “If it had happened the night before, I’d be dead.”
As you look at the next 12 months of your life, this is a perfect time to adopt the six trademarks of a champion.
Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip, Issue 1029– 6 trademarks of a champion you can adopt right now