There are many secrets of success, but none of them work, unless you do.
A CEO of a manufacturing corporation was explaining his new policy to the employees. He said, “We’re going to become more and more automated. Now I know many of you will be concerned that our new robots will be taking your jobs.”
“I want to assure you we are taking steps to guarantee that all of you will remain on the payroll. According to the plan we are developing, you will receive a full week’s pay but will be required to work just one day each week. We are designating Wednesday as your workday. You will only have to come in on Wednesday.” From the back of the room, one worker asked, “Will we have to come in EVERY Wednesday?”
Of course, that’s not a true story, but it could be. It seems like so many people want to be successful, or want to see the good times, without having to work for it. They want fairy-tale results without hard-working input.
That’s not reality. As Harold Geneen, the former chairman of ITT said, “It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises — but only performance is reality.” In other words, talk is cheap; only actions count.
That being the case, let me suggest some actions you should take if you want to be successful at work. First, ACT AS IF IT’S YOUR BUSINESS. Seek better, more efficient ways to do things. Look for things that would result in long-term savings or long-term profits for your business.
DO MORE THAN ENOUGH. Take on new duties, work a few extra hours, and don’t wait to be asked. Whereas losers do just enough to get by, winners do more than enough—and so will you, if you want to be truly successful.
Third, DETERMINE WHAT SKILLS YOUR COMPANY NEEDS AND ACQUIRE THOSE SKILLS. Most employees wait until the company sends them to training. Go out there and attend seminars and classes before you’re sent. This will definitely put you ahead of almost everyone else in the organization.
Fourth, ELIMINATE ENTITLEMENT THINKING. “I deserve it” thinking leads to laziness and bitterness, not hard work and success. Be careful of thoughts such as “I often come to work early, so I’m entitled to leave a couple of hours early.” Don’t think it’s your right to say, “I haven’t had a day off for a couple of months, so I’ll call in sick tomorrow.”
Fifth, SHOW A LITTLE GRATITUDE. Give your employer the same things you expect–a little positive feedback–once in a while. When all is said and done, new opportunities come to appreciative people more often than complaining people.
Action: Instead of thinking you work for someone else, imagine you work for yourself. Think about your company as YOUR BUSINESS. That being the case, list some things you would do differently. Now pick one thing you can do, and do it.