Paul Butler: 3 workplace resolutions

Paul Butler

Just like many of us will have made New Year’s resolutions, please join me in raising a glass to entrepreneurs, workplace leaders and employees in general, for this coming year of commerce. Here are the three workplace resolutions I have top of mind for these three vitally important categories of workers:

For the entrepreneurs:

I hope as entrepreneurs we will continue to be err… entrepreneurial. See, an entrepreneur is defined as a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. Make no mistake — these are the people we need to thank for creating jobs. The cool products and services they had the vision to create, in turn, create jobs. Often, they achieved this after considerable personal financial risk.

It’s not the government that creates jobs — it’s the entrepreneurs. Fun fact — did you know that 99.9% of businesses in the United States are classed as small businesses and there are more than 30 million of them in this land of opportunity? May they continue to opportune in 2020.

For the workplace leaders:

I hope as workplace leaders we will continue to lead well. There’s nothing worse than a leader who doesn’t lead well. If you’re a leader be reminded the commodity you deal in is trust. People will follow you if they trust you. Trust is easy to say but very hard to do. Trust is comprised of two essential attributes — character (who you are) and competence (what you do).

If you’re not a good person but you are competent, people will not trust you. Likewise, if you’re a good person but incompetent, people won’t follow you.

If you’re a very senior leader you’ve likely being lifted to that position because of your competence. Just take care this year to ensure your character doesn’t let you down at these lofty heights. WorldCom, Enron, Tyco International and Global Crossing are all fairly recent examples that demonstrated that high competence with low character is a lethal cocktail. It can cause a drunken stupor in the halls of power that is highly likely to bring the house of cards toppling down.

For employees in general:

I hope as employees we work better than ever before. Notice, I didn’t say “harder” but “better.” We’re a pretty hard-working nation. According to the website, we’re the 7th hardest working country in the world of the 195 countries, measured by hours worked per year per employee.

According to Wikipedia, we’re the 3rd most productive country in the world measured by gross domestic product per hour worked.

So, what do I mean by “better” rather than “harder”? Well, let’s do our work to the very best of our ability. Let’s commit to doing our work with a good attitude. Let’s work as if we own the business by initiating ideas and watching waste. Let’s serve our customers and colleagues in a manner we ourselves want to be served. Let’s be grateful for all we have and then we may find even more is gifted to us in the form of pay raises and promotions.

When we all work better everyone wins — our customers; our colleagues; our organizations overall; our shareholders (if a corporation), and even the government in increased tax revenues (if we’re a taxable entity), which in part gets reinvested back into the economy.

One of the biggest reasons people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is because they’re not specific enough. It’s easier to drop out or walk away when you set resolutions that are vague. So how about you? What workplace resolutions could you set for yourself for 2020? Be S.M.A.R.T about it — be specific; ensure it’s measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound, meaning it has a date when you want to achieve the resolution by. I’d love to hear what workplace resolutions you are going to set this year, so feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]

May we collectively (as entrepreneurs, workplace leaders and employees in general) have a wonderful working 2020. Cheers!

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