There is a common thread that transcends all of us when working. Whether a pimple-faced kid at a Silicon Valley/Alley startup, a factory worker slinging out products in the middle of the night, or a C-level executive running a multi-billion dollar corporation, there are common value which are, or should be present in us all. And I don’t think we necessarily learn them in MBA school. I think we learn most of these working in our “early jobs” part-time and still in high school. Here are a few of the values which occur to me.
- Customer focus. We’re all the same. Blue collar, while collar, no collar. We all have bosses and we all have clients/customers. The traditional adage of “the customer is always right” doesn’t always apply in all situations. I’ll confess that I’m not always right when approach situations outside of my area of expertise. I do feel the customer/client’s needs a central to the dialog and should take precedence in forming a lasting relationship beneficial to both parties. Think Covey’s habit #4 – Win Win.
- Hustle. Hustle has no pay grade limitation. It is not limited by age. In my neighborhood I see two boys barely strong enough to tow lawn mowers dragging them up and down the street working on my neighbor’s lawns. I hear the drive-thru cashier get excited when she up-sells a pie to me after I order a meal (Don’t. Judge. Me.). It is a college-aged me getting people to sign up for a Sears credit card at the local mall. It is the sales professional putting in the sweat equity to finalize a deal over the weekend. Its all hustle. We all need it. I need it. Guys like @garyvee and @tompeters are great sources of inspiration to HUSTLE.
- Ownership. We are either assigned work or we infer what we need to do and then accept the assignment. Either way, we need to own it and remove the idea of a closed loop. When we screw up, own it. You would be amazed how the tension is reduced and a project or relationship can move forward. When we complete the item, we communicate to others its done to prevent duplication of work. When we say “I’ll have the Tardis Specification Document to you COB today” the document is available at 5pm.
- Proactivity. Anticipating needs benefits both parties. Oftentimes it takes the form of up-selling or additional work ($$). But in the end the relationship is preserved. I had a mechanic replace springs in a vehicle and not mention this would be a good time to replace the struts. I had to enlist the help of a friend to replace the struts thus creating more work for both of us. Well, mostly him :). I’ve had the opposite experience
- Effectiveness. Do you want to be busy or effective? I invite you to read Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism. Our hyper-connected world buzzing and chirping at us 24/7/365 creates a sense of frenzy and anxiety. I won’t add much more here as Greg has masterfully addressed it in his book.
What other values would you include in this list? How would you change what is listed above?