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A Career Built on Character - Part 2

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Learn the Rules

"Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you." ~Spanish Proverb

Watch What You Write or Say. Assume that anything you write or say will be read or heard by everyone in the company. E-mail makes it easy to respond emotionally. Before you respond to an irritating e-mail, take a minute to calm down, then, write the e-mail. If you have a tendency to send harsh messages, save a draft and review it sometime later to ensure the tone is business appropriate.

A corollary to this principle is Happy Hour don't go! There is a huge risk of saying something you shouldn't say, getting out of control, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You should stay out of office politics. Don't say anything bad about anyone, ever.

Arrive Early and Leave Late, but Not Too Late. You want the reputation of a hard worker, but not one that can't get their work done. This principle also applies to taking work home. Over the long-term, you want to have a life outside of work. Maintaining a work/life balance will keep you engaged in your job; therefore, more productive.

Find Out What Your Boss Wants and Deliver. Regardless of your personality, relationships, or good looks, you must be productive. For your boss, it means doing what they want, no matter how silly it may seem to you. For example, I had a boss that wanted to know how many Dairy Queens between Dallas and Houston served a particular yogurt.

Always say, "Yes!" to a request from leadership. For your boss, there are ways to provide better solutions without damaging the relationship.

"Always do more than is required of you." ~General Patton

Give People Credit. Don't take credit for yourself. This is important for a variety of reasons. First, you need people to help you get things done. Second, when people recognize people who work for you, you get the credit as well. Third, it's the right thing to do.

Conclusion

When It Comes to Your Career

  1. You're Responsible
  2. Remember Who You Work For
  3. Learn the Rules

As Bill Karnes put it, "Eagles don't flock; they fly alone. And eagles soar above the rest of their world. So, too, do people who start things, who lead groups or who otherwise set themselves apart from the crowd."

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