What’s real wealth? The newest luxury toys? A brand-new car or the latest HDTV? Having enough stable income that you can order all the new Apple products the very day they come out?
For many: yes! 100% Nailed it.
For the record, I don’t disagree. I certainly enjoy those things. But I think I have a better overall answer.
Real wealth is, as the legendary consultant Alan Weiss says, “discretionary time.”
Jason Fried puts it perfectly in his book Rework: “Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day; they use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.”
When you find yourself obsessively refreshing LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, FoxNews, or Facebook from the office – you are very wrong. (And, no, it does not matter if you are an “influencer”).
If you find yourself bored at work in general – you are wrong.
If you find yourself bored and wandering around with the latest batch of gossip – you are very wrong. I don’t know how else to put it.
If you are effectively tasked and employed at work, your tasks should fill each workday without impacting your overall quality of life.
Tasks and action items must have clearly defined parameters. As a professional, you should be able to identify with certainty when these tasks are complete.
But, who among us doesn’t know the person that comes in early and stays late solely because they hate their life?
I know about 50 of them, as a matter of fact.
Sadly, I can also tell you that most of them are either highly overpaid or in positions of authority.
I notice in many organizations; a few employees are tasked until “the bell rings” while others enjoy quite a bit of water-cooler time. As a leader, it’s your job, and no one else’s, to ensure the health and welfare of your subordinates.
Don’t punish performers for being performers. It’s easy to do so inadvertently as they often shoulder more responsibility than others under you.
Remember, it is your job as a leader to distribute the tasks evenly across the spectrum of employees you have at your disposal.
Trust me when I tell you this, and I’m not trying to brag; I’m a busy man. That being said, as a leader, I try to follow the advice I used to give my direct reports “If you don’t have anything to do, don’t do it here.”
Babysitting adults, especially when they are bored, has never been on my to-do list. People get paid a professional salary, and, amazingly, I expect them to act as if they’ve earned it.
People often forget to earn the very money being paid to them. Also, don’t give me the “work-life balance” argument. That also has to be earned, not given. Yes, I said it, reread it and let it sink in.
When you set your daily goals and set about slaying them, be sure you understand the completion point. When the work is done, go home. Relax. When the job is done, the job is done.
Rarely do I see compensation packages that pay more for staying later for their salaried employees. Most organizations I’m familiar with make their employees explain overtime. I’m guessing the explanation provided never includes the words “Well, I spent three hours on Facebook and YouTube, so I stayed late, and now you have to pay me.”
If you know what the right answer is – by definition, the opposite of right is wrong.
Don’t be wrong. It may not feel like it, but it is under your control.