Do You Really Care About What You Do?

Tweet 100 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Care about what you do.  If you care a little, you be an OK performer.  If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”  On Tuesday, I met someone who is the very essence of this tweet.  Caroline Mehle is the Wealth and Freedom Director with Speaking Empire.  She’s a good person to know.  Who doesn’t want more wealth and freedom?

Caroline is managing an event for Speaking Empire where I am a VIP guest.  As part of my VIP package, I was given the opportunity to put a flyer in the participant welcome packet.  The event began on Tuesday.  Caroline and I agreed that we would meet on Monday and I would give her my flyers for the packet.  I arrived before Caroline and left a note to be given to her upon check in.  I hadn’t heard from her by 7:00 so I called the front desk to ask to speak with her.  I was told she was a no show and had cancelled her reservation.  I was bummed by that.  I had spent some money getting the flyer designed and printed especially for this event.

Tuesday morning I arrived at the event a little before registration was to begin.  Lo and behold, there was Caroline.  She stayed at the hotel Monday night and hadn’t received my message when she checked in.  I asked if it were too late to get my flyer into the welcome packet.  She said “Absolutely not, give them to me.  I’ll take care of it.”  Remember, this was five minutes before about 200 people were going to descend on her asking for their meeting credentials.  My flyer was in every welcome bag.

That’s caring about what you.  Here’s another example.  I drink a lot of bottled water.  I couldn’t find a recycling bin at the meeting venue.  At the end of the day on Tuesday, I asked Caroline if there was a recycling bin handy.  She said, “Give it to me.  I’ll take care of it.”  No funny look, no “Gee I don’t know,” no “It’s not my job.”  The next day there was a recycling bin in plain view.  Again, that’s caring about what you do.

Let’s switch gears.  It’s football season .  If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan.  I grew up in Pittsburgh.  My dad had Steelers season tickets for many years.  He gave them up only because he moved to Florida.  He learned to use the Internet at age 70, so he could follow the Steelers on line.  He really cares about the Steelers.  I’m not that much of a fanatic, but there is no professional sports team more near and dear to my heart than the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Sunday, February 1 2009, Steelers won the Super Bowl.  On Monday, February 2 2009, Mike Tomlin, their coach, noted that because the Steelers were in the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl, he was “a month behind getting ready for the 2009 season.   We’ve got to be thoughtful in how we prepare our football team.”

Some may say, “Chill, Mike, savor what you’ve just accomplished.”  However, Mike Tomlin, just like Caroline Mehle, knows that outstanding performers don’t rest on their laurels.  They care about what they do, and they care about their life and career success.  High performers always set higher goals and look towards greater achievements.  The Optimist Creed urges us to “Press on to the greater achievements of the future.”

That’s what Mike Tomlin was doing the day after he won the Super Bowl, and that’s what all outstanding performers do.  They set high goals and meet them.  Then they set higher goals and meet them too.  They are always looking to exceed expectations.  They care about what they do.

I care about helping people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  I care a lot.  That’s why I wrote Success Tweets and give it away for free.  You can get a copy at http://budurl.com/STExp.  That’s why I wrote a series of blog posts explaining each of the 141 tweets in more detail and turned it into a book called Success Tweets Explained.  I care so much about helping people create the career success they deserve that I committed to writing 700 or 800 words every day for 28 weeks.  I’ve also created a membership site to further help people create their career success.  I do this because I care.

I care a lot about helping you achieve the kind of career success you deserve.  And I know that this caring will pay off in me becoming an outstanding career success coach – somebody who gives really great career advice.  Caroline Mehle is in the business of making seminars run smoothly, creating great experiences for the participants.  She cares about what she does, and it shows.  That’s why she is so good at what she does, and is a tremendous career success.  Mike Tomlin is a football coach.  he cares about winning every single game.  That’s why he is good at what he does.

When you care you do your very best.  One of my favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird was published over 50 years ago.  There is a passage in that book that has always stuck with me.  It’s in Chapter 11 and is spoken by Atticus Finch, the father, played by Gregory Peck in the film.  He’s speaking to Scout, his daughter…

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.  You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

It takes courage to care. Because when you care, you put yourself out there.  You do your best.  And doing your best can be a scary thing.  When you care, when you consciously do your best and fail, it is heartbreaking.  But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.

I remember when I applied to graduate school at Harvard.  I decided that I was going to demonstrate to myself how much I cared by writing the very best application I could.  I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook if I didn’t get accepted by saying, “I could have written a better application, but I just didn’t spend the time I should have.”

When I put my application in the mailbox – we still did quaint things like that back in the old days – I was proud of what I had written.  I knew it was the very best I could do.  I was also frightened because I knew that my best might not be good enough.  After all, both of my other degrees were from state schools.  Who was I to think that those kind of credentials would get me accepted at Harvard?

I cared about the quality of my application, so I did the very best I could.  The story in this case has a happy ending.  I was accepted and got my degree.  Even if I had not been accepted, I would have been proud of myself because I cared enough to write the best application I could, and I dared enough to admit it to myself.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people are proud of what they do.  They care.  They follow the career advice in Success Tweet 100.  “Care about what you do.  If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer.  If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”  Does your work show that you care?  Or does it reflect an “it’s good enough” attitude?  Take it from a career success coach, if you want to create the life and career success of which you are capable, make sure that how much you care shows through in every single piece of work you do.

That’s my career advice based on working with Caroline Mehle.  What do you think?  Do you know somebody who really cares about what he or she does?  If so, give them a shout out by leaving a comment here.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.

Bud

PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site on September 1.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  To celebrate the grand opening, I’m giving away a new career advice book I’ve written called I Want YOU…To Succeed in Your Corporate Climb.  You can find out about the membership site and get the career advice in I Want YOU… for free by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.

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