July 14, 2014
Darrell W. Gunter
Hard work and Profit!
This past weekend my family celebrated my mother’s upcoming 90th birthday and our annual family reunion. We began on Friday with my mother’s birthday celebration followed by our family reunion picnic on Saturday. We concluded our festivities by attending my mother’s church, Second Baptist Church in Atlantic City, NJ. Pastor Collins A. Days always delivers a superb sermon and this Sunday’s sermon was no exception.
I was so moved by the sermon and its leadership principles I was compelled to share with you the key points of his sermon. Everyday we bring our leadership skills and attributes to our everyday occupation and we all have our blind spots. It is my hope that this article helps you to address any blind spots that you might have and help you make your hard work more profitable!
His sermon focused on Proverbs 14:23 – “All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.” How many times have we experienced someone in our work environment that puts the time in, but not real effort? Instead of putting in quality time i.e., (time and effort) the unproductive worker just shows up and logs in ordinary time.
Imagine a crew of eight oarsmen competing against another team of eight oarsmen. Team “Excel” has eight oarsmen that are fully engaged and in sync with each other. Team “Boarsman” has only five out of the eight that are fully engaged. The boats take their position and as soon as the gun sounds, anyone observing the race knows the likelihood of Team Excel winning the race is great!
A company competing in the market place is only as strong as its weakest link. King Solomon spoke that “All labor is profitable”. It is said that, “You reap what you sow.” In other words, you get out what you put in. If your labor is positive and productive, the profit from your labor will result in great performance reviews, awards, salary increases, performances, etc. If your labor is not productive then your profit for this poor labor will result in poor performance reviews, no salary increases, no promotions and potentially loss of employment.
Hard work equals positive profit and poor work habits equals poor profit. The Oxford dictionary defines hard work as, “A great deal of effort or endurance”.
Anything truly worthwhile requires a consistent dedicated effort and patience. In his book, “Built to Last”, Jim Collins challenges his readers that in order for them to achieve greatness they need to establish “A big hairy audacious goal”! Hard work will be essential to achieve that “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”! Working smart and working hard goes hand-in-hand. Some people feel that if you can work smart then you do not have to work hard. Do not misunderstand me. I fully appreciate and recommend to my clients that they should utilize the best practices within their work environment to ensure that they, along with their colleagues are maximizing their productivity. However, you must put the time into your business to have that breakthrough and create a positive performance gap between you and your competitors.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he details several examples of successful people who have invested 10,000 hours or more to their profession. Each of us has our own gifts and there are no overnight successes. My nephew, Kadir Nelson is an award-winning illustrator (www.kadirnelson.com) and he started drawing at the age of three and never stopped. During his formative years, he worked entirely on his art. He logged well over 10,000 hours before he headed off to college. As a college student, he was selling his original artwork and doing work for Nike! Even today he is consistently putting in the time to make sure that all of his work meets his standards of high quality.
In building your team of high performers, you must set the example of putting in a quality workday! Your team will follow your example of putting in a quality workday. Even if you are currently not managing anyone it is essential that you set your personal work standards very high. No matter what your position is in your company, you want to make sure that you are giving it your best effort everyday. As you ascend the corporate ladder or launch your own business, it is imperative that you bring your “A” effort and set the standard for excellence.
Remember, any significant endeavor will require an extraordinary and consistent effort (hard work)! The benefits of the hard work will result in the following benefits:
- Position yourself for better raises and promotions
- Great work self satisfaction
- Leadership position within your company
- Your day flies by
- Happy co-workers and customers
- Positive working environment
Take control of your life and career by establishing a new PMA (positive mental attitude) towards your work and career. Establishing personal productivity goals to stand out from your colleagues and competitors will ensure that you are on the right track to true Professional Growth and Profit!