Is what you’re doing at work today really the best thing for both your company and for you? Spare a few moments to gain some work perspective. You might discover you’re making some fatal mistakes, or even fourteen of them.
Not Understanding the Company’s Goals: It’s everyone’s responsibility to understand the most critical goals for their company. Even if you weren’t told what’s most important, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t figure it out. The more disconnected you are from these goals, the more you’ll be task managed. Doing what you’re told isn’t enough; we have to do what most needs to get done.
Not Making Yourself Instrumental: Ask yourself: “If I was fired tomorrow, would my company suffer any major disruption or difficulty?” Be honest. If the answer is “No!” then you’re setting yourself up to be replaced. You’re likely either not excelling at your role, or you’re working on the wrong objectives. Job security means having responsibility for something important, and doing it exceptionally well.
Not Having a Work Best Friend: Plenty of research shows that having a “best friend at work” makes you happier, more positive and more likely to stay in your job. In fact, a landmark study revealed people who have a best friend at work are seven times as likely to be engaged in their job! Yet, only about 30% of employees say they have a work best friend. Get happy, find your WBFF.
Being Yourself: No one is the best professional they can be. One trick to perform better is to emulate the habits of your professional heroes: how would Steve Jobs stay productive, how does Mark Cuban make decisions, how does Marissa Mayer handle phone calls, how does Magic Johnson conduct meetings, and how do they dress. By playing the part of your mentors, you’ll settle into your own optimal work style, and become the best version of yourself.
Not Taking Enough Breaks: The single biggest cost to businesses may be the “sitting-dead”: burnt-out employees achieving a fraction of their potential. I always hated seeing my team goofing around, but I realized how important breaks are later on in my career. Now I’d much rather have team members go on as-many-as-needed energizing breaks (outside the office) throughout the day, but then be 110% engaged and working until the job gets done. Over-worked zombies infect everyone else, and leave you with an office of aimless employees.
Putting Limits on Yourself: We almost never accomplish more than we can imagine for ourselves. Many people are fond of telling us what we can’t do, and sometimes these voices become our own limiting self-talk. This doubt becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Go into work every day with the attitude you can get anything done. Be something more tomorrow than the something less you were yesterday. The only limit of your potential is your imagination and effort.
Forgetting the Customer: People as important as your children, spouse, siblings and parents are spending their hard-earned money on your products or services. How much of your workday do you spend thinking about, talking to, or interacting with your customers? Probably not enough. Businesses that are disengaged from their customers tend to die untimely deaths. Lead your day with a customer-centric focus and you’ll never go wrong.
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