5 Keys to Achieving Workplace Immortality – Care (3 of 5)

5 Tenets for doing Business Better

3 of 5

It is naive to believe that positive thinking can send your career to the ultimate heights alone. There are many gurus that try to convince you that positive thinking is the only step necessary. They are half right. Positive thinking is the first step. And I think that in this case “positive thinking” is synonymous with caring. I want to talk about caring in two contexts.

business heart

First, caring means quality. It means thought. It means taking a moment to consider what path you will need to achieve the best outcome. Let me give you an example. While I worked as an archaeologist it was my job to lead the crew in the field. There was no one supervising me. I was the last line of defense as far as quality of product went. At the time, we were surveying an open expanse of scrub brush spotted with shifting sand dunes. My crew was tired and ready for their 8 day session to be over with. Suddenly I heard a voice on the radio as one of the technician’s indicated they may have found a possible metate (a large piece of stone used in grinding seeds and other vegetation). The thought came to me to ignore it. After all, what would one piece of groundstone matter? Ultimately my meticulous nature got the better of me. Within no time I had helped to discover over a dozen pieces. We spent the necessary time to record our findings and made our way back to the motel an hour later than normal.

Two months later, a federal agency sent out a field truthing crew to see how accurate our surveys were and they found plenty of groundstone. Failure on my part to include these items in my report would have meant a lot of trouble for our firm. It would have delayed the clients’ development plan. It would have ruined reputations. If you do not care about whatever it is that you are doing, it will lead to bigger problems you do not want to face down the road.

The second context is caring about those around you. You need to operate with everyone’s best interests at heart. You certainly can’t please everyone, nor should you. You aren’t their mother, after all. But you can let your actions be motivated by thoughtful consideration of how your decisions will impact those around you. For example, political infighting at a previous job went into high gear when the office made a move to a new location. I thought seriously about fighting for a new office at the expense of a friend even though I would be leaving in one year. I was very clearly more entitled to it than he was and felt a bit annoyed at being pushed around. Instead, I decided to fight for him to get that office even though it meant that I would be sharing with another co-worker. I knew about some personal considerations that others were not willing to make themselves aware of concerning my friend. And I knew how much it would help him down the road. Fast forward three years and I found myself asking him to be a referral for a potential job opportunity. He responded within the hour and wrote an almost embarrassingly glowing review. I got the job.

When you find yourself faced with a tough decision that is requiring your full concentration then you know it has a higher potential of being a game changer. In that situation, take the time to care……….care about a quality job and care about how your decision will impact those on your team.

If you have had any moments where caring made the difference, let us know about it!


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