No Matter What, Keep Doing The Work!

sufferorchange“I’m not doing it today.”

You’ve either said it to reward yourself, admit defeat, in defiance to someone else’s directive, or even in helpless rage.

We have a tendency to stop doing the work.  Here are a few examples:

  • Life is so good.  My life is so good that it feels like I’ve arrived.  I’ve worked so hard to get the job that I have, the things that I own, the family that I’ve created, and the stability that I now have in my life.  I can finally take a breath and stop doing the work.  Wrong!
  • Life is so bad.  I’ve struggled for so long, and I cannot get a break.  No matter where I turn, someone always finds a way to kick me in the teeth.  I can’t get ahead, and there’s no way for me to get caught up.  I’m behind in my bills. My family has fallen apart.  I’m victim to addiction. My friends have all turned their backs on me. I might as well stop doing the work.  Wrong!
  • Sales are up.  I’ve made the sales that I need to make for the month!  After finally making a big sale, my numbers are finally looking up, and it looks like I’ll not only get to keep my job, but it looks like there’s a bonus in my future!  I can finally take a break, relax a little, and stop doing the work.  Wrong!
  • Sales are down.  I’ve tried everything to make this happen.  They’ve arbitrarily assigned a target to me, and nothing I do is making a difference.  I’m behind in performance, other departments have a target on my back and won’t help me, and it feels like there’s no way I’m ever going to catch up with what’s expected.  I should probably just look for another job and stop doing the work.  Wrong!
  • I’m so happy.  After searching for so long for inner peace, I feel like I’ve finally found it.  I’ve reach a Zen-like place, and I feel like everything is as it should be inside me.  My relationships have never been stronger, and I feel like I could rule the world.  I’ve finally arrived.  I can stop doing the work that it took to get here.  Wrong!
  • I’ve never been more sad.  There are so many things that have gone wrong.  I’m hurt.  I’ve hurt others. I’m lost.  I’m alone.  I’m afraid.  I’m broken.  There’s no sense in my doing the work.  Wrong!

No matter what, we have to keep doing the work.  Whether we’re on top or feel like we’re on the bottom, we can’t afford to stop.  There is one life here for each of us.  If you feel like you’ve accomplished a great deal, then pay it forward!  Look around you at people who feel exactly the opposite.  Give those folks a hand and let them experience the joy that you’re feeling at this moment.  If you feel like you’re on the bottom, don’t wait for someone else to rescue you.  Commit to yourself that you’ll do something every single day to make it better.

No matter what, Never Stop Doing The Work.  What is your work, and how can you share it? Tomorrow Begins Today.

How To Gain the Trust of Your Peers

trustGaining the trust of your peers and your customers isn’t as complicated as many would have you believe.  In fact, it’s not difficult at all.  There are five basic rules for earning and keeping trust in your professional relationships:

1. Tell The Truth.  It sounds simple, but it’s easier to say than put into practice.  How else might we phrase this one?  NEVER LIE.  If you’re tempted to tell a white lie to sway something in your favor, you’re doing it wrong.  Tell the truth every time.  Your customers, coworkers, employees, and even competitors will come to depend on your honesty as a staple of good business.

2. Give Constructive Feedback.  If you have a positive impression of someone, you should tell them.  If you have something to share that could allow them to enjoy greater success, you have an obligation to share.  No one likes a know-it-all, so don’t go overboard in offering up your wisdom, but people are often unaware of how they impact others, and shining a light on behaviors (good and bad) can be very valuable.

3. Be Consistent.  While it is certainly possible to change your mind on some things from time to time, you have to create consistency in order for people to know where they’re going to stand with you.  If you waiver back and forth on your own principles, those around you will tread lightly, if at all, when approaching you for fear of which side of the fence you’ll be on at any given moment.

4. Live Your Rules.  Every person needs to have a written list of their rules that guide your every moment.  Your rules aren’t about what others are allowed to do.  They’re what you’ll allow yourself to do and have done to you.  Your rules are your personal commandments, and it’s your job to enforce them.  If you have a rule that no one can take advantage of you, then you have to be willing to stop the train when someone tries and invite them to exit the vehicle.

5. Seek Feedback.  Always be willing to receive and even proactive in seeking feedback from others.  How am I doing?  How am I leading? What should/could I do better?  What do you need from me that you’re not getting?

In all of these rules, there is a wealth of knowledge that helps us to gain and keep the trust of others.  People need to feel valued and respected.  When we lift them up and help dust them off, when appropriate, they sense our investment in them, and they trust us more the next time we see each other.

Tomorrow Begins Today.