Some years ago, growing up in New York City (Queens actually), once a month we would stop in a local bakery on the way to my Dad’s meeting with the Laurelton Volunteer Ambulance Corps. He was a member. Then a Board Member. Then he became the President. The bakery stop was to purchase assorted fresh pastries for the monthly meeting. Me and my brother enjoyed these two special flavored muffins which may not exist anywhere else on earth as the bakery has long since closed down. One muffin was this spiced flavor. The other was a dark chocolate with a center circle of cream cheese. These were magical! The meeting of the volunteers was something we looked forward to every month.
The question is, was this a tradition, a habit, or just a treat to be remembered forever?
Today, it is clear these must have been super unhealthy to eat, and who knows what was in the ingredients!
What habits do you have in your daily business life which may be negatively impacting your career advancement? What habits do you have which may be negatively impacting your effectiveness and your productivity? For example, if you travel often for the company and in your position the travel is essential. How do you view your travel, what you spend and expect to be reimbursed? How involved are you personally to make absolutely certain the trips you take are cost effective while still permitting you to be safe and comfortable? Larger organizations have a travel department, outsource their travel reservations or certain assistants arrange individuals travel arrangements. This does not mean you are not able to steer the process toward certain choices which may be more cost efficient. Do you handle your business travel as if the money being spent is your money?
Another example for another level or position, how do you handle your breaks or your lunch hour? Are you a clock watcher? You feel it is okay to leave the work place five or ten minutes early in order to beat the rush, yet you feel it is fine to not return to work until exactly when lunch hour is over or five or ten minutes later – all of the time – every single day – no matter what is going on at work – what possible deadlines are looming? Is it not possible for your group to stagger when people leave and return for lunch so someone is always there to, in person, assist anyone who might be looking for an answer or a response to something?
These specific examples may not be important to your exact career situation. The point is the odds are good that you have habits which you partake in daily. Which in addition to being detrimental to you and your effectiveness, they also send a signal to those around you. Why not analyze your daily work life? Ask others you work with if there are behaviors which you regularly display which they notice and wonder why you do them? What might you do differently? Take the opportunity to create new habits to advance your career.
Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.