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From My Heart: Work ethics

Sat, 07 Jun 2008 20:16:00
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Hello, it’s me again.  Just one person talking to another from the heart.  I would like to talk about work ethics. 
Many years ago, I had an opportunity to attend a two-year business training program in another state. I had to uproot my family and move to an unfamiliar place. My instructor told me that the way I did business was extremely effective, but unorthodox.  Even with this acknowledgement, throughout my training I was not treated fairly or equally, as were the other trainees, for reasons that were also unfair but were (and still are) a common practice.  Regardless of this, I still played by the rules, even though my counterparts did not have to.  Even though I walked a chalk line, I was still harassed and passed over.  So what did I do?  I continued to do my job to the best of my ability.  If they told me to show up at 8 o’clock, I showed up at 7:45.  If they gave me an assignment, I put 100% effort into it.   I made sure that I knew everything there was to know about my field of business.   What did I get in return?  I was sent to the worst facility in the country.  It had the worst sales record, the largest amount of theft, unmotivated employees; the list goes on and on.   How did I respond?  I continued to play by the rules, I continued to walk a chalk line, and did my job to the best of my ability. 

The majority of my counterparts were more educated than I was, but whenever we had an assignment, I exceeded their performance because of the management skills I developed under fire.  The desire to just give up and go back home was very strong during all of this.  Giving up is easy, at first.  In the long run, though, I end up suffering more hardships than I would have if I had persevered.  Trust me on that, I have found out the hard way at other times in my life.  My point is that as long as I know I am right and just in what I am doing, and I’ve done no wrong to others, it is OK to stand alone and do what it takes to achieve my goals. 

At first, I was rejected by the employees, just like all the other managers before me.  I did not try to make them like me. I tried to make them understand the importance of following the rules, doing their job, and respecting the chain of command.  I used what I call the three F’s – be Fair all the time, be Firm only when needed, and be Flexible when allowed.  After 8 months, the facility was completely turned around.  It had the best sales record in the country, theft was reduced to almost nothing, and the employees were now extremely motivated.  The 50+ employees underneath me all received high marks on their performance evaluations as well as bonus checks.  My director, the one person over me, was promoted to a brand new facility and tried to get a promotion for me as well for my achievement.   However, I was fired by the incoming director, as no one but my former director wanted to give me credit for this turn around.   It seems like my efforts were a waste of my time, doesn’t it?  Looking back now, I don’t think so. 

I won my job back with back pay, with a letter of recommendation from headquarters, and with a superior performance award. Most importantly, though, I came away with the greatest training experience anyone could hope for.  It has taken me very far in life.  I also came away with the knowledge that I made a difference in those employees’ lives.  They disliked me at first, the way most people dislike their managers, but in the end they threw me a huge party to say thank you.  They saw the rewards that lie within surviving off one’s own credibility and positive energy.  This is what I consider good work ethics to be.  By doing my job to the best of my ability, under difficult circumstances and by not accepting anything less from others, I think it is possible to impact other people’s lives in a positive manner.  I didn’t always think this way.  I learned the hard way.  I hope others can learn this important truth, too.  These are just my experiences.  If I have reached the heart of just one person, I will feel I have been of some worth today.  I am not judging anyone, so please do not judge me.

Your Humble Servant
 
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