Do Work.

by: Courtney Pemberton

Sometimes you read a book that makes you want to jump out of your seat, start singing “Man in the Mirror,” and gather all of your co-workers for an office musical. Sounds quite delightful right? I assume you are now wondering what kind of book could make someone experience this type of euphoria… possibly leading them to a Tony nomination.  It’s Called Work for a Reason! by Larry Winget. No, I did not stutter. Out of all the great business reads in the world, this one was my monumental epic to date…besides Harry Potter of course.  A successful wizard is difficult to come by these days.

I am aware of the fact that many of you have read, heard, or even been offended by Larry’s books…good. His ideals about what it takes to become successful are unparalleled and dare I say, hilarious. He doesn’t spout off statistics and graphs…he tells you the truth, and doesn’t care if you like it or not.

Why couldn’t Larry have been there when I thought I looked cool dominating a game of Vortek VR Desert Gunners?

I believe for something to be effective it must spark an action. “It’s Called Work for a Reason!!” does just that…hell, I’m even writing a blog post about it already. I compiled a list of quotes from the book that inspired me, made me chuckle, or simply needed to be shared. Here are my Top 10 favorite quotes that could possibly start an office revolution:

  1. There will be parts of this book you won’t like.” How much more honest can a guy get? It’s like the medicine commercials that give a disclaimer about the strange side effects which often times leave you to wonder if you’re better off just enduring the pain for the rest of your life. You must always tell the client the good then follow it directly with the bad. Candor is great in any  business…plain and simple.
  2. We have become spectators instead of doers.” It’s easier to be a big loser by sitting on your butt watching the biggest loser than it is to get off your butt and lose weight yourself.” Guilty as charged. If you want something to get done, don’t write it on a Post-It, just go do it. We all know the glue on the back of a Post-It note fades in a day anyways.
  3. Stop blaming your male-pattern baldness on your lack-luster results.” Own up to your failures, just like you own up to your achievements. It’s a two-way street and we all know what happens on a one-way street…lots of traffic.
  4. You dress like a hobo on Fridays because it’s ‘casual day.’” I blame my favoritism to this quote on my deluged stream of consciousness that tends to have a mind of its own. I guess the point I am trying to make here is that I think “Casual Fridays” at Schipul should be renamed “Hobo Fridays.” I’m just throwing it out there…Ed, you can throw it right back if you deem necessary.
  5. “…organizations that refuse to accept poor performance at any level and that take the time to deal with every slip in service do well regardless of economic conditions. They thrive in spite of it all just because they expect, demand, and deliver excellence at every level.” I am not an expert on economics by any means and I will admit that I often confuse NASDAQ with Aflac, but I will tell you that if you think you are going to fail at something, most likely you will fail. If you believe that the economy will be the reason your business goes bankrupt, most likely your business will go bankrupt because of the economy. It’s called the “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy,” which name sounds angelic and magical but don’t be fooled. It is the equivalent to the cute little dinosaur from Jurassic Park that purred at you and the next thing you know it has dispersed bat like wings and shot you in the eyes with venom that resembles dirty oil. What I am trying to say before this turned into a discussion about dinosaurs is that a bad economy shouldn’t hold the fate of your company’s success.
  6. I just checked Amazon.com and found there are more than thirty-nine thousand books listed with the word ‘secrets’ in the title. Are there really that many secrets?” No there is not. The reason your cooking sucks isn’t because there is a secret ingredient…you just didn’t read the recipe right. The same holds true with a successful business.
  7. Larry explains that your job is like every relationship in your life…you must work at it. Sometimes you get “stuck in a rut” and you might need to spice it up a bit. “Here’s a suggestion: make a list of what you originally loved about your job.” Maybe set out some candles and set the mood with a little Marvin Gaye. In my case, I would bring my job a bouquet of cal lilies, a bag of Trolli Apple O’s, a 6-pack of Miller Lite and call it a day. Rekindle that love you felt when you locked eyes with your job for the first time. Because like Ol’ Larry says, “When you love your job, enjoy your job, and have fun at your job, you will be better at your job.”
  8. No one can compete with a truly unique individual or company. I don’t believe in competition, but I will bet money on uniqueness.” Nike is a great example of a company that took the basic idea of a running shoe and turned it into a unique brand image that is recognized by millions all over the world. Another example…Bermuda shorts. I am not a big fan and to be quite frank, I think they are hideous and do nothing for the female form. But they are unique…not quite shorts, not quite pants…it’s like you came here to work but you also came for the rain party. What I am trying to say is despite my preferences, they are constantly selling off the racks. Offer something truly original and whether it’s good or bad, people will take notice.
  9. The companies that do well in a sagging economy are the ones that provide the best service.” Ultimately, the customer is your boss. No explanation necessary.
  10. The real key to business success is to be good at what you do. Excellence does not just come from enjoyment or passion or love or fun. Excellence comes from study. Excellence comes from experience. It comes from screwing up and doing it wrong until you finally, finally, finally get it right. And it comes from good old-fashioned hard work! The other things help, but alone they are mostly hot air. Sweat changes things-not hot air.”

Most of the things I have told you are common sense and it’s likely you have heard these tactics before. But my question is, if so many businesses are failing then are they really using common sense? I guess it doesn’t hurt to repeat things.

Thanks for the photo Amen-Ra

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