Work ethic is interesting. It has so much to do with culture and results; however unlike results, it is subjective – based on feelings or opinions. Anytime something is based on feelings or opinions, there is the opportunity for disagreement or judgment. Have you ever worked with someone who you feel does not have the same work ethic as you? How does that make you feel? What does the difference of work ethic have on a result?
Results are objective – representative of facts.
When reviewing quarterly results or actuals to budget, one does not have an opinion of if the expectations were met; either they were met, or they weren’t. It is cut and dry, unlike the team of individuals that make up those results. On those teams are many subjective attributes that make up the dynamics and one of those attributes is work ethic.
Take a moment to self-reflect. How would you rate your own work ethic? (Yes, I’m combining subjective and objective.) How do you think others would rate your work ethic (ah ha – see what I’m doing here)? Do you view your own work ethic as others do? What is your approach to your work? Some may see it as a checklist where they focus on the tasks that get them from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Others see it as a series of actions where the focus is the result; they create alternative paths and resources to get there faster/better. Those who typically get more done have a different approach to their work; they focus on the result and how they get there. This typically leads to creative thinking, collaboration, and outcomes that exceed expectations. They will do whatever it takes to achieve results, which tends to translate to a strong work ethic.
I’m sure you have worked with both types of people – those who seem to have a strong work ethic and those who do not. Part of a strong work ethic is not about what you know, but about having a positive approach to what you are doing.
“There is little difference in people but that little difference makes big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” – W. Clement Stone
Positive people with a strong work ethic are the ones we find ourselves wanting to work with and those who seem to have the most success. This holds true both within an organization and amongst external business partners. They are solutions-oriented and always looking for the most efficient and creative ways to solve challenges which typically leads to the best result. So, whether your role on a team is within the company or with a client, think about your work ethic and mindset. Are you efficient? Are you creative? Are you focused on the solution or the barriers? Are your results reflective of your effort? Success is as much of a mindset as it is talent; it is up to you, and YOU have the ability to succeed.
Written By: Patty Bogosh