Steve shows up on time. He designs two posters and three billboards by lunch, then sits back and waits impatiently for the five hours until he can leave to click down. And spends that time looking busy while bitching through email about how much he hates his job to a sympathetic spouse. All because he wasn’t singled out and congratulated for his great speed.
Lisa takes five minutes to chat to the coworker who has a story about his kids, and remembers the new kid has a birthday coming up. And goes out of her way to create a hand-made card for the office to sign. She remembers being that awkward newbie that just started and everyone ignores. She works hard, but she also works smart. And her work is impeccable. The clients who ask for her by name are happy to wait until she’s free. Her day is gone before she realizes it.
The truth is that both employees perform, but one employee is considered a worker bee and the other isn’t. Everyone respects one and the other is only fooling themself.
The story we tell as people and in our work is our impact on our whole life. And these stories scale. And in our increasingly connected world business is built on interactions and not transactions.
What is the story you’re telling yourself?