If you do the math, you are likely to spend more time with your co-workers than your family (sleeping time doesn’t count!). So how can you determine if you are doing what you should be doing or simply doing what you are told? I have devised a brief “test” to give you some insights on this age old problem – Be sure you are doing The 3 E’s.
EXPERIENCE – This means you have time doing it. Experience says you have “been there, done that, have the T-shirt.” It means that your time card has been punched. Experience is important. If you don’t have it, you need to get it, since the best predictor of future performance is past performance. But experience is not enough. We need to move on to our second E.
EXPERTISE – This comes from Experience. If you do it along enough, chances are better than average that you will develop some ability at it. For example, 30 years as an accountant probably means that you can make a 10-key calculator sound like a drum roll. You may even be considering carpal tunnel surgery. Do you have expertise? You most certainly do! But, here’s an important insight – Just because you have done it a lot and you have gotten good at it does not mean you have to keep doing it! You are allowed to and need to consider the third (and I believe the most significant) E.
ENTHUSIASM – Derived from the Greek word enthousiasmos, meaning “inspired, possessed by a god (en + theos),” this is the E that brings it home! Enthusiasm (Gallup has suggested that only 20% of us are “engaged” at work, doing things that we value and enjoy) obliterates “Hump Day,” energizes and inspires us, makes work play (Kids play for a living, why can’t we adults enjoy what we do, too?!), creates the highest level of productivity for our employer and the most satisfaction for us as well. Sounds good doesn’t it?! This doesn’t mean, by the way, that you get to do everything you want and do nothing that is less than exhilarating. Everybody has some tasks at work that they do because they have to. But if most if what you are doing is what I call the “grown-up stuff,” I humbly suggest that you are doing the wrong stuff!
So, what can be done about this – If you’re the employer, find out where the enthusiasm gene resides in your employees and wake it up; if you’re the employee, do the same.
Personally, I choose not to seek anything less than these 3 E’s for me and encourage my clients to follow suit.