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What do you do, when no one else is watching?

Digging back into the archives – I wrote this in 2009.

Many people can get by in life by taking the easy route, winging or faking there way through life situations.  How much energy or effort does it take to go the easy route?.  In most cases, I would say 80%.  It takes a lot of ingenuity, creativity to mask the holes in your story.  These are good characteristics when used in the proper setting.  So why not just do the actual work?  How does it make you feel knowing you haven’t done what was asked?  How does it affect your confidence?  I find for me, I get a little nervous, I think about it all day long, I have stories in my head wondering how my boss, colleague or friend is going to react.  These “realities” are usually far worse than the actual reaction…and that is usually just disappointment.

What you do when no when else is watching, is the true mark of your character.  What you probably don’t realize is that what you are doing at this time or accomplish is the most important.  Somebody is always watching, you just don’t know about it.  The tone of your voice, your body language is being read, even though you are saying nothing. Tone and body language make up over 85% of how we communicate, so you are communicating all the time.

Personal example.  I used to come to work a little later than everyone else.  I was a night owl and just could not get out of bed in the morning.  I was only in 15-20 min after 9am on some days and the arrival time of everyone else.  But I always felt I was sneaking in, that my boss would pull me aside and lecture me.  I also had to rush from home, on the subway, or sometimes taking a cab and was always slightly frazzled when I arrived.  I felt I was always behind starting the day. My confidence in my work not as high and my state of mind not where I needed it to be.  We did get one warning from our boss, that as senior team members it was not showing leadership for the new guys…I knew that would be the only warning.  One day a month or so later, I just decided I needed to be in at a regular time before the painful second/final warning came.  So to be accountable, I told my boss I was turning a new leaf and waking and getting into the office earlier.  He was happy and he told me, that was going to save him the painful conversation that was coming next week.   Just that 15-30 min made a huge difference in the way I felt starting my day, knowing I was not having to sneak in.   I was relaxed on my way to work and stress-free.  It was a good way to start the day.

When I got into the office, I was full speed all day and often stayed late. Hard work was never my issue.  I needed to make some accountability tweaks on how I started it.

What one thing are you doing while you think no one is watching…that you need to improve?


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