This is my motto.
Do the right thing. With everything going on in the world right now where dishonesty and back stabbing is as common as drinking your morning coffee, doing the right thing sounds like a hard choice. You may ask yourself, “Why should I do the right thing when all those people get away with doing the wrong thing or acting the wrong way?” Precisely, because doing the right thing is the right thing to do! Even if you’re the only person doing the right thing, others will start to notice. If you go with the flow and start acting like the rest of the people who try to trick the system, embellish the sales results, or simply overstate their time card (whether you are an hourly employee or a paid consultant), then there is no hope. There is no hope for things to get better. There is no hope to be the example to the next generations coming after you. There is no hope of real success—when what you do matters and impacts others for the better.
Do things right the first time. Through my almost twenty years in management, I observed how some employees went through tasks carelessly just to get the job done as quickly as they could. I particularly remember an employee who worked in IT and decided to implement a massive upgrade to our servers—and it went wrong. Why? Because this employee didn’t stop to think things through and do thigs right the first time. This person flew through the instructions and tried to get it done quickly. On the other hand, I have observed how some employees who are slower to implement processes or procedures, and really took the time to understand what they needed to do before pushing “OK” button, they were, most of the time successful.
So, I started encouraging my employees to “do things right the first time—consistently,” meaning, take your time to truly understand the process or whatever it is you’re implementing and not be afraid to take a little more time so everything goes as best as it can. By now you may be thinking, “Well, sometimes we do it right, but the system doesn’t go or works as planned.” You’re correct. But let those instances be the exception and not the rule. I also used to tell my employees, “Let’s plan for everything we can so when fires happen, they will be a ‘real fire’ and we can deal with them in a calm way. We won’t be exhausted from putting out fires every day.”
Doing the right thing is not easy. It should, but a lot of times it’s not because there are consequences to doing the right thing—sometimes it could even mean losing your job. This is the case for many whistle blowers.
Doing things right the first time is not easy either. The pressures to perform, complete projects quickly, and produce results that sometimes are not reasonable can make it very tempting to skip important steps or buy a cheaper solution or even make up numbers.
But doing the right thing and doing things right the first time—consistently—can change your world. I encourage you to try this approach and you will see real, long-lasting positive results in your business and career.