7 Strategies for High-Impact Performance at Work

Ever wonder why some people have a better work ethic than others?  A good work ethic means being dependable and taking initiative.  High-quality work ethics vibrate through the organization.  And we all notice when it’s missing!

Ways to build a strong work ethic:

1) Take ownership of your position.

2) Do what you say you are going to do.  Be accountable for your performance.

3) Learn your job. Then consider taking on more responsibility within your department.

4) Others count on you.  Be dependable.

5) Show up and be on time.  Be conscious of your attendance.

6) Keep personal business at work to a minimum.

7) Do what it takes to make your manager successful.

More to consider:

  • Think strategic and long term.
  • Avoid distractions that take your golden work time.  Stay focused.
  • Stay current in your industry.
  • Avoid burnout by pacing yourself over a period of time.

Reputations are formed over time.  You can start shifting where you are today.


Saying No

Ever find it hard to say “no”?


You know that you really don’t want to do something.  Saying no can be challenging for everyone.


When to say “no” can include times when:

  • Taking on a new project will stretch you too thin.
  • You need your time and resources for activities more important to you.
  • You feel your services are being taken for granted.
  • You want to stand strong on a belief.
  • And countless more occasions.

When you do say no, keep your reasons short.  No need for detailed explanations.


We often regret agreeing to things we don’t want because it was just easier to say yes.  You want to be in personal and professional environments where others respect your decisions and show support.


Practice saying no to small and inconsequential issues where the stakes are low, and it will become easier to say no to more important matters.


When the job requires you to say yes, and you can’t set limits to the commitment level, such as a major implementation project, focus on the positive aspects of the venture.




Post Holiday Networking

The holidays were an outstanding time to reconnect with old friends and make new contacts.

Now what?  You have a stack of business cards on your desk.  Your life is busy.  There are only so many phone calls and emails you can make.  How do you stay in touch?


Whether you’re in a steady job or a consulting assignment, it’s important to connect with a larger circle outside of your immediate work environment.  Jobs can end for many reasons.  It’s vital to constantly meet new people.



Organize your contacts.  Create a personal database outside of your work environment of those with whom you’d like to maintain contact throughout your career.  Note where and when you met.




  • Create time for follow up.  On occasion, look through your contacts and reach out to vendors, clients, ex-colleagues and networking acquaintances to stay in touch.


  • Send emails.  Send LinkIn notes.  Set lunch or coffee dates.  Call.  Be available.


  • Keep other people’s needs in mind.  Forward interesting tips and information.




  • Post and maintain your contact information on social networking Web sites such as Linked-in, Facebook, etc.  Be findable!  You never  know who will want to reach you.


  • Stay on e-news lists.  Watch blogs.  Add your voice to online dialogues.  Know what is current in your industry.


  • Attend functions on a regular basis. Bring friends.


Networking is a career-long process.





Do people hear what you need? Creating Accountability.

Do people hear what you need?   Creating Accountability.

Does it drive you crazy that people in your professional and personal life don’t seem to hear what you need? You’ve said it.  You wait.  Time ticks and nothing comes back.

Now what?

Micro managers get a bad rap, but they do get things done.

Here’s how to set up accountability for a project:

  • Clear and precise directions are critical.  Clearly state what you need.
  • Own the project personally or through delegation.  Nothing will get done with out someone controlling the process
  • Create visuals.  This can be on paper, white board, video, or Web.  Include calls, outcomes and results.
  • Outline workflow, deadlines and execution.  If possible use public or shared folders.
  • Foster regular meetings in person, by teleconference or video.  Assign verbal reports on personal updates.
  • Watch workflow process.  Be aware of new action items which move the project forward.  Set daily or weekly deadlines for reporting.
  • Consider incentives to reinforce positive behavior within your team.

Creating structure helps everyone feel involved and boosts morale.