Every day we telegraph who we are by our words and deeds. And there is no place like the workplace to emphasize the acute differences between those who aspire to excellence and those who settle for mediocrity.
What are you communicating to your coworkers about who you are? Are you telling them that you are a hard worker and committed team member, or is your message to them that you can't be counted on in tough situations?
How do the successful behave differently than the mediocre? If you're not sure where you stand in the equation, the following are seven areas where the successful differentiate and distinguish themselves from the mediocre.
1] Mediocre people do the bare minimum in order to keep their jobs and not get fired.
Successful people anticipate needs. They don't wait for someone to tell them to do their jobs. If they see something that needs doing, they will take steps to make sure that it gets done.
2] The Mediocre believe that activity equals achievement. They think that making an effort to solve a problem is just the same as actually solving the problem.
The successful know that motion doesn't mean accomplishment. They always see every task through to completion, and are never finished working on a problem until that problem is solved.
3] The mediocre behave differently around their boss. They know they'll get in trouble if they aren't busy so they always snap to and look busy when she's around.
The successful behave in exactly the same way when their boss is gone as they do when she's looking over their shoulder. They don't have to worry about looking busy because their normal work ethic is the definition of busy.
4] Mediocre people say things like:
"I'll do more when I get paid more."
"I don't know. I just work here."
"That's not in my job description."
Those that say these things believe that reward should be issued ahead of performance.
Successful people know that you must deliver first, and only then will you be rewarded.
5] The mediocre are clock-watchers. They live for the moment they get off work. They're the folks who spring out the door the second the clock hits quitting time, no matter whether they've finished what they are working on or not.
People who excel at their jobs are task-oriented and are more concerned with completing their work than they are with escaping work.
6] The mediocre are consistently late to work. Or, at best, they slide into work mere seconds before starting time.
Successful people recognize that being punctual is akin to keeping your word. If you have agreed to be somewhere at a certain time in order to get paid for your services, then you need to keep your word and show up when you've said you would.
7] Mediocre people gossip or listen to gossip. The reason gossip is so attractive is that it is counterfeit intimacy. It creates an instant bond between the gossiper and the listener, and it feels great (at least for a little while) to be part of that conversation.
Successful people simply don't have the time for gossip and know that if a person is talking about someone else behind their back, then that same person is certainly talking about them behind theirs.
So, how would you describe your work ethic? Better yet, how would your coworkers describe it? If you have the slightest interest in fulfilling your potential--if you want to see just how far you can go in life--don't you owe it to yourself to rid yourself of any and all traces of mediocrity? Why not strive to shine as the person who sets the standard for excellence in your workplace?