Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Show me results

When we lived in Romania it amazed me to discover that most stores did not open until 9 or 10 and most people didn’t really go to work until 10ish. Culturally Romanians focused first on relationships and events while efficiency was not that high on the priority list. I learned this the hard way when I tried to teach a time management class. I even went so far as to give my students a day planner. I think it is safe to assume most did not use it! Fair enough. We can write off these differences as cultural differences and as I’ve said I don’t think all these differences were bad (I even miss many of them). After all how many of us work a solid 9 to 5 anyhow? But if culture is their excuse, what’s our excuse for poor productivity? I think it’s safe to say they may accomplish as much in a work day as we do anyhow.

As I said in my last blog, I’m reading a book called It’s Called Work for a Reason, by Larry Winget. Winget’s no nonsense approach to work has really captured my attention. Many would frown at other cultures for their "work ethic" while standing on our pedestal as though we were the "working force that makes the world go round." Winget on the other hand would disagree. He says, "What difference does it really make what people are doing as long as what needs to get done really gets done?" He goes on to add, "Don’t measure busywork. Don’t measure activity. Measure accomplishment. It doesn’t matter what people do as much as it matters what they get done."

This reminds me of a good friend I had in college that would cram the night before an exam and make the same grade if not better than I would after studying for two weeks. It drove me crazy but in the end the teacher didn’t care how much we studied. He just wanted to see how well we knew the information. The same is true in the workplace. We are not measured on how hard we work each day, we are measured by what we accomplish. Like it or not, there will always be those that can put in little effort and have great results, while some will put forth lots of effort to show the same results. I guess we just have to know our abilities and our limits.

After reading my last blog I realized I might be putting myself under a microscope. I’ve taken the risk of being known as the biggest hypocrite in the world by blogging on work if I don’t let my actions speak for themselves. Fortunately my wife is the only one that reads my blogs. Unfortunately she knows my work ethic around the house! It’s the end result honey, not the effort! So I guess that is my disclaimer. I’m not blogging on work in an effort to even attempt to sing my own praises but rather to just plant a few thoughts in the one or two minds that read this blog. But, more than anything maybe I’m just planting thoughts in my own mind. If nothing else, maybe I’ll think about all this the next time I try to skate by with little or no effort at work or attempt to just look busy! After all, the great John Wooden even said, "Never mistake activity for achievement."

I better get back to result producing work! Aspire to new heights.

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