In today’s “get-it-done-yesterday” business environments, tenure is shortening and relationships are becoming shallower. It’s no longer enough when an employee exceeds expectations. Herminia Ibarra, the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Professor of Organizational Behavior at Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD), reflected on this topic in a recent Wall Street Journal article. “With competition fierce and the business climate changing rapidly, companies are telling their leaders that it’s no longer enough to deliver results in their individual departments, or over the short-term.”
Every once in a while, you will hear CEOs of organizations declare “At Acme Products, we are like a family!” I am not exactly sure what a CEO means when she describes her company as a family.
Perhaps there was a time when organizations were familial. Your grandparents may reminisce about the “good old days” when employees were treated like family. In the not-too-distant past, family-like environments naturally flourished since tenures were longer and relationships were deeper. Doing your job well nearly guaranteed of lifetime employment. However, organizations today are not like a family, regardless of what your well-intentioned CEO tells you.
As recently discussed, the quantity of work produced and the quality of your work are keys to creating your good reputation. Let’s face it, if you produce a low quantity of work and the work you do produce is low quality, your days are numbered. Even the best attitude and behavior will not offset low quantity and poor quality.
Having a good attitude, demonstrating good behaviors, and acting with integrity are only part of the reputation equation. In today’s fast-paced organizations, it’s almost assumed that your work production is good. Even colleagues who demonstrate a good attitude and good behaviors may find themselves in job jeopardy if they’re not producing good work.
Attitude reflects the intangible choices that you make regarding people and situations. Behavior reflects the tangible choices you make which influence your reputation.
Behavior is easier to define than attitude, since we’re able to see behavior more readily. While you can see some aspects of attitude (i.e., a smile on an optimistic colleague), behavior is where the “rubber hits the road.”
Your attitude plays a vital role in your reputation and how others perceive you.