Caring about Career Success–Yours and Others

Today I am borrowing a question from Jon Gordon, whose weekly newsletter often contains thought-provoking messages that make me examine what I am doing or not doing that really matters–personally (with family and good friends) and professionally (for my business and the people I want to serve). Jon’s question is: “Do You Care?”

Caring about Success Goes Beyond Yourself

As Jon’s weekly newsletter article says: “In today’s economy where businesses and people are always looking for the latest and greatest ways to grow their business, build their brand and garner attention, I believe one word embodies how we can stand out and be noticed for our work.
The word is CARE and I’d like to share two simple ways you can put care into action. First, you care about the work you do. I know this may sound like common sense, yet in reality most people don’t care. That’s why the people who do care stand out.

“Steve Jobs is a great example of caring in action. In Water Isaacson’s biography of Jobs, Steve shares a story about helping his father build a fence when he was a young boy. His father told him he must care about crafting the back of the fence as much as the front. When Steve asked why the back mattered since no one will see how it was crafted his father said, “But you will know.”….

“The second way to put care into action is to show your customers you care about them. I’m convinced that the most successful people and businesses show they care in their own unique way.”

I can safely say that I care deeply about the well-being and success of my clients, and that’s one of the main reasons I do what I do. But like many people, I’m a work-in-progress and don’t always achieve the level or quality of caring that I aim for. That’s okay, though, because I’ll keep working at it and won’t give up until I achieve it. That’s an important part of how I measure my success in both the near and distant future.

Caring as an Employee or Manager of Employees

If all you do is show up to work every day and put in your time in order to collect your paycheck, the concept of caring about career success not only for yourself but for others wouldn’t mean much. I’m betting that if you’re bothering to read this blog, you care more than that about the quality of the work you do and others do with your guidance.

Yes, it’s great–and important to your sustainability–to receive a good paycheck periodically, but that’s not the only reason (maybe not even #1 for some of you) for doing whatever it is you do in your work. If you really want to be successful and help others achieve success, you care about what you do, even when no one’s watching or keeping track.

Maybe it’s a bit early yet to set your goals for 2013, but you might want to at least start thinking about them in terms of career success based on caring. If you aren’t satisfied with what you’ve achieved in 2012, part of the answer could lie in shifting your focus for 2013.

Did your progress in 2012 reflect a strong commitment to caring about success for yourself, your team, your company, your company’s customers…? If it didn’t, what can you change that would make a positive difference? How can you be more effective–make a greater impact in a constructive way–in the year ahead?

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