Tool 47 of 104 is to be useful

Are you a dead weight or a lightweight?

Every leader, business owner, manager, or person wants to work with lightweight people. When Jane got an internship opportunity, as part of the requirements in fulfillment of her University degree, she focused on doing her best for a permanent placement. At the end of the internship period, she got an offer.

I met Jane at a client I was helping with strategy execution support, where I work closely with respective managers to create the discipline and habits that create a culture of consistent high performance. For strategy execution support to work, I challenge managers to nominate volunteers in different departments to champion strategy initiatives. Much as Jane lacked what I would call ‘academic firepower’, she had a lot of passion and I can do attitude that is infectious. Someone who knows their weakness and are willing to go an extra mile to cover it up.

Strategy execution requires discipline. When I am engaged to support strategy execution at any company, I take time to first know more about the culture of the organisation through observing the habits and way of doing things by the staff. In the first weeks, I take time to observe people’s work ethic as well as the time of reporting and leaving work.

Despite the modern flexi work schedules, many jobs still call for time disciple – reporting to work early. It is a good culture if you work in an environment where you must be physically present to deliver work. If you are a finance officer, much as you must deliver output, reporting early to work is key. Else, you must be so good at timely communication in order to keep all your colleagues aware of your work schedules and work targets and key performance indicators (KPIs) so that your late coming is not construed as a ‘bad culture’! If you want flexi work, make sure you complete a weekly time sheet and share it with your colleagues so that they understand your late coming does not mean laziness. The problem comes when you fail to keep the team up to date but also appear at work intermittently.

Being on time demonstrates passion and good work ethic. For the first week, I found Jane in front of the office even before security has opened it. And she had lots of energy, always willing to go an extra mile. To put effort.

No first class degree can beat passion and timekeeping. This is what I call lightweight. If you come late. Always want to ask for salary increase but are not willing to go an extra mile, you are a dead weight. If you want a better pay, work harder and make the money.

Be like Jane. A manager can train people to do their work. But it is not easy to train someone to be trustworthy, passionate and punctual. It is easy to train people. Very difficult to educate them.

Are you a lightweight or dead weight?

If you are a dead weight, soon you will be dropped off.

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