For me my dad was my role model when it comes to work. Granted, he could be called a workaholic with total justification. And he did go overboard. Perhaps it had something to do with his childhood. He never finished the 8th grade, and his family was very poor with little indoor plumbing, if you know what I mean. Let’s just say that if you had to go to the bathroom in the winter time you made it quick!
However, he taught me some things that will always be a part of me.
Another person who I have admired from a distance is Jack Welch, the well known former CEO of GE. Once he was asked about the secret to success.
Without hesitating he unequivocally said, “Find out what your boss wants and then over-deliver.”
My dad personified that.
Here were a few of his work rules. I use the word rules because in my dad’s way of thinking this is simply the way it is. Any other approach was simply unacceptable.
1. Show up ten minutes early. Hit the ground running. Walk around and make sure everyone has what they need to start the day. We all know how easy it is to waste the first ten minutes of a work day.
2. Stay late. Walk around the job site and start planning for the next day. Even today successful business people suggest that one of their secrets to success is planning the next day the day before.
3. Know what your boss wants done. For those of us working for dad this was easy. He was more than very clear as to what he expected.
4. Then exceed those expectations. Here is how it played out for my dad. He was a crane operator in the steel erection business. While the guys were eating lunch my dad would wipe down the crane and keep it spotless. Put an emphasis on “spotless” and you get an idea of what I am talking about. That would exceed anyone’s expectations. And no one would ever expect you to do it during lunch!
5. Never lower the bar. My dad never did.
And one day someone noticed. Outside the company. When this particular person was looking for a business partner for his company, he thought of my dad. And my dad was offered an opportunity that changed his life.
My dad never set out to run and own his own business. It was the furthest thing from his mind. He didn’t set out to be different. He never set out to WOW others.
He just did those five things and he stood out at work. And it paid off in a big way. Anyone can do these five things. This week you can stand out at work.
Will you? It’s your choice.