I’ve been wanting to write this post for many months because there’s been an exponential increase in what I see happening out there in business.

Are you paying ATTENTION?
Are you PRESENT when you work?
Do you solve PROBLEMS or do you put them off?

More and more, I see a clear divide between two types of people:

One type, let’s call them the Makers & Shakers, come to work early, work with excellence, think outside of the box, take calculated risks, deliver on-time (or early), and stay true to their promises. The get the job done and ensure their bosses and teams respect them. Their clients, customers, and vendors sing their praises and they come to the job with a big smile and a positive attitude.

The other type, let’s call them the Slackers & Fakers, don’t live up to and fall quite short of the Makers & Shakers’ level. They are late to every engagement, they do ‘just enough to get by’ at work, they do the same thing every day without improvement, they are usually late with all deliverables, and over-promise and under-deliver. They rarely complete what they say they’re going to do and their bosses and teams regularly have issues with their performance and decisions. Their clients, customers, and vendors are slowly going away or shunning them. Finally, they come to the job with a huge weight on their shoulders and complain incessantly about all the bad luck they’re having.

Which one are you? You probably say to yourself, “I’m a Maker & Shaker!”. But there’s a trick here.

This delineation is not a light switch — it’s a spectrum. At one end are the Maker & Shakers and at the other the Slackers & Fakers. Somewhere on that spectrum line falls your present state and your future.

Look back at your current performance (it doesn’t matter if you have your own business or if you work for an organization) and score where you fall within the BIG 7:

  1. Regularly come to work (or meetings) early or arrive late?
  2. Think outside of the box or just get by with the same old stuff?
  3. Stay true to all of your promises or over-promise and under-deliver?
  4. Get the job done or procrastinate and miss deadlines?
  5. Boss & team respects you or they have issues with your performance/decisions?
  6. Client/Customers/Vendors love or shun you?
  7. A positive and enthusiastic attitude every day or a negative and complaining attitude?

ACTION: Draw a line on a piece of paper and chart where you fall on each of the BIG 7 items. Be honest!

If you have Career ADD, most of your BIG 7 items fall closer to the Slackers & Fakers end. You need to start addressing some of the more serious areas — but the best part? It’s a simple choice and your state of mind. Any one of the BIG 7 can be turned around with a concerted, willful effort and repeated attention to not slack back to the dark side of the BIG 7.

It’s easy to make the decision — unfortunately, it’s hard to make it a habit. You have a lot of work to do.

P.S. In no way is the use of the term ADD in this blog a denigration of people who suffer from ADD. I used the term to capture an associative behavior that impacts the typical executive or business owner.

Image provided by gemsling at Flickr.