work ethicOne of the basic debates that I feel has insufficient discussion in leadership and culture circles is the debate around what constitutes the right work ethic.   This is an issue which is seen differently around the world dependent on your culture, environment and past history or unique circumstances.  What constitutes a fair days work for a fair days pay?

We can view it in terms of hours worked.  The problem with this approach is it focuses on rocking up rather than adding value.

We can view it in terms of ability to prevent failure, win or look good.  The problem with this approach is it drives a perfectionistic and workaholic approach.

We can view it in terms of being liked and keeping people happy.  The problem with this approach is it drives passivity, compliance and a lack of results.

Another way to look at it is be focused and committed with boundaries.  In this approach when we are at work we are focused, committed and we act in the best interests of our employer.  We challenge our fears and insecurities and do what is right.  We think and act as if it were our own company and do what is in the best interests of our stakeholders.  However we also set clear boundaries on what is work time and what is personal time.  When it is personal time we switch off the blackberry, keep off the emails and we focus and commit to our families and our passions.

In summary – be in the moment and commit, and put integrity first.